Spanish hip-hop/flamenco fusion band Ojos de Brujo will be able to play the three U.K. dates on its world tour after all, following a decision by the U.K. consulate in Madrid to overturn an earlier ban on issuing visas to the group's two Cuban musicians.
The tour will start at Edinburgh's Picturehouse theater tonight (April 30); the band had to postpone its London Roundhouse show on April 27.
Ojos de Brujo's manager Jemima Cano says she received an 8.30am call from consular officials to confirm that the visas were now available. Touring veterans and international award winners Ojos de Brujo will also play Liverpool Philharmonic Hall tomorrow (May 1), and their sold-out London Roundhouse gig has been rearranged for May 31. The nearly 3,000 fans who bought tickets for that concert can go to the rearranged gig.
The U.K. visa system has a contentious new points-based system, which became effective in November. Cano says that London-based booking agent Andy Wood of Comono intervened and resolved the outstanding visa problems.
"Today they have conceded us the visas, so the U.K. shows go ahead almost as planned, and we are delighted the problem was resolved so rapidly," says Cano. "Thanks to the effort of our U.K. agent, Andy Wood, and the help of the authorities, the two Cuban members of Ojos de Brujo were given their visas and the band will give the three U.K. shows as planned. Ojos de Brujo will take up where they left off with even more enthusiasm."
The band suspended its London Roundhouse concert at the last minute when Cuban band members Carlitos Sarduy (trumpet, keyboard) and Enrique Ferrer (drummer) were refused visas. Consular officials in Madrid said they were not satisfied the two had money to cover their trip.
Ojos de Brujo was preparing to perform acoustic concerts at the theater venues in Edinburgh and Liverpool, if the Cubans were unable to travel.
The tour started in Madrid on March 23, and takes in venues in the U.K., Morocco, Greece, Portugal, France and Slovenia until late July. Other dates will be added, with the U.S. and Canada scheduled for 2010.
The tour is to promote fourth studio album "Aocana," which is their first on a major label, Warner Spain. It has been in Spain's Media Control charts since its March 17 release, and has been released in much of Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Japan (April 21) and Mexico (April 28). It will be released in the U.S. on May 19.