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Gabrielle Lights Up Spain with Kingdom Of Madness and Jaime Kyle.

Gabrielle de Val performing in Madrid
Gabrielle performing in Madrid (© Ernest Esteban Boatas)



When Bruce Mee proposed to me the idea of doing a tour with Kingdom of Madness and Jaime Kyle I thought it was a great idea. Kingdom of Madness is a band formed by several former members of Magnum that masterfully brings to live the great classics of the band (1978-94). On my first solo album, ‘Kiss in a Dragon Night’, we included the song ‘Staying Alive’ from those early years of Magnum, which I recorded with the great Terry Brock (Strangeways). I also recently recorded another track from the band, ‘Midnight’, with the incredible vocals of Andrew Freeman, both produced by Khalil Turk (Escape Music)... so just having the chance to play some of these songs live with some of the band members from those years was a very inspiring idea. I immediately started corresponding with Mark Stanway and we decided to play ‘Midnight’ when we toured.


Jaime Kyle is a wonderful American singer/songwriter with a wonderful repertoire. The last time she had played in Spain was in the 90s, so the expectation was guaranteed. The band accompanying me, formed by Gustavo Martín (guitar), José Luis Gallera (bass), Gustavo di Nobile (keyboards) and Javier Gómez ‘Cozy’ (drums) had been preparing 6 of her songs, and I have to say that the result was impressive. Jaime herself was blown away by how her songs sounded when we did the rehearsal in Madrid.


Jaime arrived in Madrid a few days before the tour in order to overcome the famous and dreaded ‘jet lag’ and adapt to our schedules. The band rehearsed with her at Bonzo in Las Rozas, Madrid, where there is plenty of space, natural light and a great atmosphere in general. As a spectator (from one of the sofas in the rehearsal room) I really enjoyed the songs... it sounded like a cannon and with the cleanliness of a record.


On the 11th of April the whole team left for Barcelona. The band travelled with the backline in a great and very spacious van driven by David, who we happened to know for many years, while Jaime and I travelled by train, which takes very little time and is very comfortable. All the organisation was arranged by RM Concerts...good job!


The venue chosen for the concert in Barcelona was Sala Upload, very nice and located in a beautiful area of the city, in the historic centre of Poble Espanyol. The sound is very good, both on and off stage. I had only played with The Val in Barcelona twice before and I really wanted to play again, because it had been a long time since the last of those concerts. It was there that we met our travelling companions, Kingdom of Madness. Mark Stanway (keyboards), Mo Birch (vocals), Richard Bailey (keyboards and flute), Alan Bell (guitar), Micky Barker (drums), Brian Badhams (bass) and Chris Dando (vocals) are all lovely on a personal level, very approachable and of course they are a real bundle of talent on stage; I feel very lucky to have been to 3 of their gigs!

Everything went very well and we played the repertoire we had planned in its entirety...almost  all the songs from ‘Kiss in a Dragon Night’. I enjoyed it very much on stage and also afterwards, chatting with so many friends that I hadn't seen for a long time and others that I could greet in person for the first time after years of virtual contact.


Barcelona Photos (thank you to Josep Roca and unnamed photographer)


The next morning we left for Vitoria, a city I had never played in before. The trip was very pleasant and relaxing, with a stop for lunch and some spectacular scenery near our destination. The night of the 12th of April we played at the Urban Rock venue, a very cosy place with a clear rock atmosphere and run by wonderful people. The vibe was unbeatable, with a devoted audience who were very involved in the concert. It's incredible when from the stage you see that people are singing with you... there are no words to explain that. We also had the presence of Juanma CR and his family, who had come from Zaragoza, where we had given a concert in March, and my cousin, who had come with his wife from San Sebastian. Between them and some others who knew the songs well... it created an unbeatable atmosphere of people singing! I have great memories of this concert and I hope to be able to do it again.


I went up to sing ‘Midnight’ with Kingdom of Madness and as it usually happens with this kind of unrehearsed and unprepared performances (we hadn't had the chance), it sounded great and it was also a lot of fun for us. It was a real pleasure to have been able to be part of this song in their performance and to have joined my voice to Chris and Mo.


Also, in Vitoria I had the chance to chat with many friends, musicians and media that I didn't know personally couldn't have been more enriching and fun! Very good vibes from all of them!



Vitotia Photos (thank you to Fran Cea, La Mirada Negra, Urban Rock, Jon Rivas and unnamed photographer) Click to open thumbnails


The next day we went back to Madrid with the prospect of a rest day in between, which was not bad at all. On the 14th of April we went to play at the emblematic Shoko. Unfortunately, Jaime had caught a bad cold that prevented her from singing here, so we went out to play first. The atmosphere was great. Lots of friends, acquaintances and media. Once again we had a great time playing, despite some technical problems we had on stage... nothing that prevented us from enjoying it.


Very special was the presence of Bruce at Shoko. He had never seen me and the band live before, and I was delighted to be able to sing the songs from the album in his presence at last! And of course, again very happy to meet new friends and greet the ones I already had before, like José Carlos Molina and many others.


On October 11th we will have the continuation in England of this tour started in Spain, as we will open for Kingdom of Madness again, this time in Wolverhampton (KK'S Steel Mill). I can't wait to sing ‘Midnight’ with them again!


A big thank you to Gustavo Martin, Jose Luis Gallera, Gustavo di Nobile and Javier Gomez ‘Cozy’ for their wonderful work at all levels with passion and dedication. You are great musicians and great people.  Of course thanks to Bruce Mee for promoting this tour and so many other things. To Robert Mills and his team for the excellent organisation. To José Luis Martín Serrano for his invaluable and unconditional help and for being part of this team.  And finally, many thanks to all the people attending the gigs for your support!


Madrid Photos (thank you Ernesto Estebanez Boatas, Raul Blanco, Francisco J Alvarez, Irene Fotografia) Click to open thumbnails



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