Xutos & Pontapés are a Portuguese rock band. The band was founded in 1978, in Lisbon, by the late Zé Pedro, Zé Leonel, Kalú and Tim. Their current lineup consists of Tim (vocals, bass), João Cabeleira (guitar), Gui (saxophone, keyboards) and Kalú (drums).
Xutos & Pontapés are often considered the most successful rock band from Portugal. The band is popularly known by its fanbase as simply Xutos.
In 1978 Zé Pedro and Zé Leonel decided to start a punk rock band, with Zé Pedro on the guitar and Zé Leonel on vocals. Together with Paulo Borges they started with the name Delirium Tremens. They auditioned Kalú for the drums part and decided to change their name to Xutos & Pontapés. Shortly after, Paulo Borges was replaced on the bass by Tim. The band had their first rehearsal in December 1978.
Both xutos (a misspelling of the word chutos) and pontapés are Portuguese words that mean “kicks”, but xuto is also a slang word for heroin injection.
Xutos & Pontapés’ first live show was on 13 January 1979, in a celebration of 25 years of rock and roll at the Sociedade Filarmónica Amigos do Apolo in Lisbon, where they played four songs in six minutes, at 3 a.m. In 1980 Xutos & Pontapés were the opening act for Wilko Johnson at the Belenenses Pavilion in Lisbon. During the year, they played several other concerts and made their first recordings, while working on their main jobs.
In 1981 Francis joined the band as a guitar player. Shortly after, Zé Leonel leaves the band and Tim becomes the vocalist. The band continued playing concerts throughout the year. At the end of the year, they signed their first contract with the label Rotação and released their first single, “Sémen”. The song was successful among radio listeners.
In 1982 they released their second single, “Toca e Foge”, and their debut album 1978-1982. The album was well received by critics but was not commercially successful. Their label, Rotação, closed its doors in late summer that year.
In 1983 Francis left the band. Xutos & Pontapés invested in live shows, playing concerts almost every night, and their fanbase started growing. João Cabeleira joined the band in late 1983 for the role of lead guitarist.
In late 1984 Gui joined the band as a saxophone player.
By 1985, Xutos & Pontapés had achieved considerable fame in Portugal as a live band. During this year they negotiated a contract with EMI but the negotiations didn’t end successfully, so the band signed with independent label Dansa do Som and released their second album Cerco. The presentation concerts at the Rock Rendez-Vous in Lisbon brought a record attendance to the nightclub.
In 1986, they re-recorded the songs “Barcos Gregos” and “Homem do Leme” from Cerco for single releases. The band played sold-out two concerts at the Rock Rendez-Vous with the intention of releasing a live album. The album ended up not being released at the time but was later released in 2000, named 1º De Agosto no Rock Rendez-Vous. The band signed their first major-label contract with PolyGram.