four members of the band Gypsy Pistoleros
Gypsy Pistoleros Credit: Gypsy Pistoleros

I love the English language. You can hear a word you’ve never heard in your life, but know exactly what someone means. The lead singer of Gypsy Pistolero, “the Best Flamenco, Punk, Glam Band Ever, tells me they are “unpigeonholeable”.

A 15-minute Zoom call with Lee Pistolero confirms that the Crow Fest crowd at Cwmbran Stadium are going to see something they’ve never seen before. There isn’t a single category of music (or comparable band) this Worcester-based group can easily slot into.

And that’s why Lee loves what they bring to their gigs.

Gypsy Pistolero started in 2005 and the following six years saw them play gigs and festivals across the UK, Europe and America, including Rocklahoma where they shared bills with Motley Crew and Guns N’ Roses.

This interview was carried out thanks to the support of Cwmbran Community Council.

‘New album is fantastic’

He told me he overcame drink and drug problems six years ago and “about four years ago” he was ready to restart Gypsy Pistolero, and this time “do it properly”.

“I don’t drink, don’t do anything so I thought let’s do it properly.  The stuff we’re doing is fantastic. We’ve got Dave Draper our producer, who’s done a lot, he’s done Ginger Wildheart, Terrorvision, a load of stuff, so the new album is fantastic, the last one.”

With a tongue-in-cheek grin, he punched the air, smiled and said: “And we went in at number 96 in the official album chart but Taylor Swift released 20 albums so theoretically , it should’ve been about 70, that wasn’t fair.

“We’re one of those bands that people can’t sort of pigeon hole so it’s difficult. I was always told that to be unique and different to everybody else was good. No, with the rock press it seems not. If they can’t say ‘oh they’re just like the Foo Fighters  or they’re just like The Wildhearts it’s a real pain in the ass. Especially with the make-up we wear as well. 

“Because it’s like ‘who’s ever done that and gone on’ and we say, ‘Kiss’?

“So it’s different, it’s ecleticic and it’s gone down great.


“Bands like ours are unpigeonholeable I mean we’re going out with Goldie Lookin’ Chain so there are not many bands that can do that and go out with Skid Row.

“A journalist described us as ‘the Dexys Midnight Runners of metal’ and I went, one, we’re not metal and then thought ‘we’ll own that’.  So we took it, it’s sacrilege, you should never do this, we covered Come on Eileen and it goes down amazing live.  It’s a rocked-up, punked-up version of that and goes down amazingly.

“It’s about having a good time as well. There is too much posing and ‘we’re in a rock band’ and I’m ‘aw no, not that.’ So I’ve always come from the more punky side of it, so we’re more theatrical, but it’s not Les Misérables you’re gonna see.

“But it’s fun, we do do glam rock stuff. We do very punky, very heavy stuff as well you know but it mixes.

“We do Livin La Vida Loca, which is still our greatest hit with about half a million streams, which is like ‘aw no’. It’s one of those that you look back on and go ‘aw, should we have  done that?’ Is that what I’m going to be known for?

“People normally go absolutely berserk to ‘Come on Eileen’ because they can’t believe anybody would dare to ever break the taboo of coveing that song and Livin La Vida Loca.

“Some of the really punky heavy ones, they’ll probably look at us shocked. We’re a party vibe, it’s great. You’ve got to bring that.

‘People want escapism’

“Look at the world today. It’s like ‘no don’t’. People want escapism. They don’t want political comment or whatever, you know. It’s an escapism I suppose, very punky, very rocky but an escapism with some covers that are ridiculous which you would never do but we do.

“I love the more eclectic festivals, and this one in Cwmbran is really out there isn’t it? I mean the line-up is cracking. I think people are more open minded at those sort of events and they’re really varied rather that you know ‘hey, we’re all rockers and we’re gonna see a rock festival’.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s going to be great to lose yourself for a complete afternoon.

“The variety of bands is fantastic so there will be something for everybody there and I just think it’ll be so different. So I mean why not, what else you doing in Cwmbran on an afternoon?”

Gypsy Pistoleros’s latest album, Duende a Go Go Loco, is available from Earache Records.

Gypsy Pistoleros, will be joined by Goldie Lookin’ Chain, Capital City Jazz , Appletree Theory2 RudeTravis GeorgeTobias Robertson, Darren ‘Graceland’ Jones and No One Knows.

Crow Fest tickets

Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Click here to visit the events page.

Tickets are £5.94 each (includes a 94p booking fee). A ticket for an adult with an under 18 is £7 (includes £1.01 booking fee).

Crow Fest is being organised by  Cwmbran Community Council to celebrate the New Town’s 75th anniversary.

Crow Fest- important information

Food and drink will be on sale. Anyone who looks under 25 will be asked for ID if they want to buy alcohol.

The festival is on the outdoor pitch so suitable footwear must be worn. High heels or chairs won’t be allowed. Festival goers are welcome to bring picnic blankets.

Crow Fest runs from 2pm to 10pm. Last entry 7pm.

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