Cricklewood castle is fit for Gladstonbury kings

Soul band to play their first headline gig next week

Following their dazzling performance at Gladstonbury last month Ramirez are to play their first headline gig at The Castle in Cricklewood on July 22.

Formed at the start of the year, their blend of funk R&B and soul is starting to build a following after a number of well-received performances.

All from north London, the members have played in many bands over the years and came together after noticing the surge in live music.

Lead singer Wilbur Ramirez, from Cricklewood, who sang with acid jazz outfit Galliano back in the 1980s said. “Ten years ago the live music scene was flat – it was all clubs and DJs, but now people are seeing you can’t beat live music.”

Although Ramirez are not a covers band they do incorporate a number of classic soul tracks in their set-list including Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On and their live highlight Joy and Pain by Frankie Beverly.

Although it is early days for the band, audiences are certainly voting with their tapping feet. Playing three songs at a recent rock night Ramirez stole the show with the long haired crowd shouting for ‘more’.

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With the likes of Kool and the Gang coming back into vogue, Ramirez plan to add a brass section and backing singers.

“For the sheer spectacle it’s wonderful to see a big band on stage,” said Wilbur.

Other members include Martin Papier (keyboards) and John Varnava (guitar). The pair played together in 1980s indie band Decoy Avenue. And the rhythm section is made up of session musicians Paul Cassar drums) and Dirk Maas (bass).

And if their following continues to grow, their only problem may be finding a stage big enough.

The gig starts at The Castle, Finchley Road, Cricklewood.

Free entry before 9.30pm (�5 after).

Visit the Ramirez page on Facebook or go to