The Go Graal Blues Band was a Portuguese blues rock group formed in 1975 that, contrary to what was usual at the time, sang only in English.
The Go Graal Blues Band makes its appearance in 1975, integrating João Allain (guitar), Artur Paes (bass), Zito (drums), Tony Sousa (guitar) and José Carlos Cordeiro (vocals) and defined themselves as a group that dedicated himself to playing and singing the blues. After several experiences, the formation stabilizes with Paulo Gonzo (vocals and harmonica), João Allain (lead guitar), Raúl Barrigas dos Anjos (drums), Augusto Mayer (harmonics), António Ferro (bass), João Esteves (guitar) and José Carlos Lamb (lead voice).
In 1979, they signed a contract with Imavox and released, later that year, Go Graal Blues Band, their first LP, in which the group totally assumed a posture dedicated to electric blues, notorious in themes such as “Baby, I Wanna…”, “The Fault Is Her Own” and “The Last One”. That year Tó Andrade joins as bassist. On the 22nd of September, at the invitation of José Nuno Martins, they perform the first concert with laser beams at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia. This concert was broadcast live by RTP 1 and is in the RTP archives.
In 1980 they released the single “They Send Me Away”, presenting a more rock sound, very close to the style of Dr. Feelgood. The presenter of the program Rock In Stock, Luís Filipe Barros, produces the single “Lay Down”, which reached the top of the Top in Rock In Stock.
In 1982, the band’s second LP, “White Traffic”, was released. Of the original lineup, only Paulo Gonzo and João Allain remain. The bass is in charge of Fernando Delaere and the drums by Hippo Birdie. This LP includes themes such as “N’Roll”, “Lonely” and “Guetto Drunk”. The group’s musical evolution is notorious and success is measured not so much by record sales, but by the number of shows.
Internal disagreements over the authorship of the themes lead to the departure of Delaere and Birdie who go to Roxigénio and new members are recruited. Mário Pereira (Márito) joins the drums and Henrique Leite is in charge of the bass. The Mini-LP “Blackmail” is released, where you can listen to blues/rock themes such as “Champagne All Night”, “Love Fashion” and “Midnight Killer”.
In 1984, the Máxi-Single Dirty Brown City was released with themes such as “Dirty Brown City”, “Fast Flirt” and “Wild Beat Blues”. That year, Tó Andrade returned to bass, at the invitation of João Allain.
In 1987, the band’s last album was released, “So Down Train”, with a more mature sound but far from the success of other eras. The latest album by Go Graal brings us themes like “They Don’t Give A Damn”, “A Little Bit” or “City Lights”.
After the release of this LP, Paulo Gonzo left the band to launch a solo career. He is replaced by João Melo, and the band consists of João Melo, João Allain, Tó Andrade, Leonel Cardoso (sax), Fernando Costa (keys) and Chico Cardoso (drums). After about six months, Mário Pereira returns to the drums and the 1st singer José Carlos Cordeiro.
Due to the commercial failure of the LP “So Down Train”, which was reflected in the decrease in the number of shows, the group took the decision to dissolve, leading, in 1989, to the extinction of one of the most outstanding blues/rock groups. in Portugal.
They had a career full of shows, including the first part of the show by The Shirts in Lagos, the 1st part of Jan Akkerman at Dramático de Cascais, the 1st part of the Blues Band at the Coliseu and a memorable concert at the Coliseu de Lisboa as head of poster.
Unfortunately, so far, none of the Go Graal Blues Band albums have been reissued on CD.
Blackmail is a mini album by the group Go Graal Blues Band recorded in 1983 with production by Paulo Gonzo. This album features Mário Pereira (drums), Henrique Leite (bass guitar), João Allain (guitar) and Paulo Gonzo (vocals).
Among others, the fantastic Love Fashion theme.
The record company Imavox signed a contract with the group and released the LP “Go Graal Blues Band”, in 1979.
In this work, the group assumes, totally, a posture dedicated to electric blues, in themes such as “Baby, I Wanna…”, “The Fault Is Her Own” and “The Last One”. There is also a place for ballads, such as “Leonor’s” or “For Ma Babe… Gonzo Pleasure”.
The disc contains a small text in which Jaime Fernandes, producer and well-known radio broadcaster, focuses on the group’s career and states that it is the most “stubborn” group he has ever met. Go Grail Blues Band in 1980
Go Graal is one of the groups that gives more concerts, especially for students.
Despite singing in English, he is quite successful and passes, almost unscathed, the Portuguese Rock boom, without needing to change the language.
In 1980, he released the single “They Send Me Away”, with a more Rock sound, very close to Dr. Feelgood.
Tó Andrade joins the band and, with production by Luís Filipe Barros, the single “Lay Down” comes out, which reaches first place on the Top of the program “Rock Em Stock”, presented by the same Barros.
In 1982, a new LP “White Traffic” was released. Of the original lineup, only Gonzo and Allain remain. The bass is by Fernando Delaere and the drums by Hippo Birdie. The group’s musical evolution is well known and its path towards success (not so much in record sales, but in shows), as well.
This album includes themes such as “N’Roll”, “Lonely”, “Guetto Drunk” and the real moment when all the band’s friends get together to sing in chorus on the theme “Hot River” (they are part of the João David Nunes, Frodo, Fernando Quinas and João Magalhães).
Internal differences as to the authorship of the themes lead to the departure of Delaere and Birdie (who go to Garcez’s “troupe” – Os Roxigénio) and new members are recruited: Mário Pereira (or Márito), born in Vale de Espinho (Sabugal), former member of the Spartaks group, from Guarda; joins the drums and Henrique Leite plays bass. The Mini-LP “Blackmail” is released, featuring fabulous Blues/Rock themes such as “Champagne All Night”, “Love Fashion” or “Midnight Killer”. Never has the Go Graal Blues Band sounded as heavy as it did at this stage.
In 1984, a Máxi-Single was released with the themes “Dirty Brown City”, “Fast Flirt” and “Wild Beat Blues”.
New lineup change with the re-entry of Tó Andrade to bass and the edition of the definitive album “So Down Train”, with a more mature sound and publication of the lyrics of the songs in the “booklet” of the LP. Released in 1987, far from the success of other eras, Go Graal’s latest album brings us themes like “They Don’t Give A Damn”, “A Little Bit” or “City Lights”.
The failure leads to the extinction of one of the most outstanding groups of Blues/Rock music in Portugal. Paulo Gonzo launched a solo career that would reach its peak in 1997 with the CD “Quase Tudo”.