Kispál és a Borz
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Founded in 1987, in the town of Pécs, Hungary, Kispál és a Borz was probably the most successful Hungarian alternative rock group to date.Read More...
Pécs is where all founding members come from (family name, surname): Bräutigam Gábor (drums), Kispál András (guitars), Lovasi András (vocal, guitars), Ózdi Rezső (bass).
The last three studied in the same high school, then showed up at the same workplace: the state gas provider company where some of the city's musicians wound up, as there it was feasable to rehearse during work time.
Kispál wrote some guitar themes used in the first songs during his military service (which was compulsory at the time). Lovasi also played together with Bräutigam at first during his, in a club for officers.
The band's name is the combination of Borz ('Badger') - which was Ózdi's idea - and Kispál (btw litterally 'Littlepaul'), as the most fitting of the members' names, because Kispál didn't want an animal name - such as his previuos bands had had - again.
Words in the beginning were written by Lovasi and Ózdi, but Ózdi stepped down in 1988 and the group opted for staying a trio, so Lovasi shifted to bass and remained the only lyricist. 1988's 4-track demo was followed by a longer one - Tökéletes helyettes ('Pefect alternant') in '89 , whereof songs can be found on following albums till 1997.
The trio played some kind of keen and inventive "beat" music which let enough room for each instrument: Kispál plays all over his guitars in a charming way, which is very well matched by Lovasi's melodic bass playing, while Bräutigam is matchless with his catchy beat. Lovasi's keen vocals recall folk music.
The first lyrics authored or influenced by Ózdi were mostly subjective and surrealistic. From this a playful world of allegoric lyrics emerged later on (which was called by some "spuriously naive"), a tendency topped by 1993's Ágy, asztal, tévé. Then mid-'90-s brought more mundane words in the same manner, and mainly the last two albums some witty irony, too. Meantime, Lovasi's early straightforward singing style has evolved into a smart tone.
Songs have been composed together on rehearsals, which changed mainly on recent albums in favour of Lovasi, as Kispál could not give such an important input than in the group's trio era when he was more free playing whatever he feels like. The group is now waiting the situation to change and is patient about making a new album.
Their first album, the catchy Naphoz Holddal was recorded in 1990. The title on the album cover was mis-spelled, and originally meant 'Sunbathe by the Moon'.
'92: Their most clear-out album: Föld, kaland, ilyesmi ... ('Earth, adventure and so on') is out. '93: 3rd album Ágy asztal tv ('Bed, table, TV') is already having more conception and variety along with attractiveness. By playing lots of concerts, the band had had a public constantly growing from the beginning, and with that album their success reached new heights.
In '94-95 they had troubles making new music together, although, they made two albums at the time: Sika, kasza, léc ('Play, get paid, nick off') in '94 , and Ül ('Seated') in '95. These were more experimental, but less succesfully carried out overall than before, though they also tried out an other drummer (Kis Attila from Andersen), who plays in half of the songs on Sika... .
In early 1996 the trio era ends with the arrival of Dióssy D. Ákos keyboard player, and guitarists: Leskovics Gábor from Pál Utcai Fiúk, and Vittay Ferenc, who has been also their roadie. They also sing backing vocals.
Bräutigam (drums)'s place gets taken over by the skillful Tóth Zoltán in the beginning of '96, after the first unplugged concert of the band.
Overall, the band switches to a more professional approach.
In '96 they made an exceptional hit: Kicsit szomorkás ('A bit melancholic') - a cover song from the soundtrack from Tímár Péter's Csinibaba retro comedy - was one of those four covers that the band made from '50s songs for the movie. The song's popularity went beyond control, resulting in some controversial moments for the band.
With Tóth on drums, they made three studio albums: the straightforward Bálnák, ki a partra ('Whales, out to the coast') in '97, Holdfényexpressz ('Moonshine express train') in '98, and Velõrózsák ('Marrow roses') in 2000, latters being more and more finished. Meanwhile, Vittay returned to the band's crew.
From 2000 on, the group has also been holding more intimate so-called "csöndesülős" (sitting still) concerts, where both listeners and musicians are seated, and more talking takes place.
Summer 2002: Michael Zwecker, an american living in Hungary is the new drummer, and with him the band's sound becomes rawer and more "classic" on the 2003's Turisták bárhol ('Tourists anywhere'). Their last album to date is Én, szeretlek, téged ('I, love, you') out in 2004, which is more of an eclectic effort than its predecessor.
Live albums were recorded at their 10th anniversary concert (Happy Borzday), and at their 15th anniversary tour stations: limited Élõsködés ("Parasitism", approximatively: 'Playing live') series.
The original lineup (the trio within), made a short, but succesful "refreshment" tour with old songs in 2006.
The band worked roughly a year with the corky drummer Bóra Áron, and recently hired a heavier one: Mihalik Ábel.
They celebrated their 20th anniversary on concerts with ex-members included at the end of the year 2007. A double (studio & "sitting still" live) greatest hits album - 20 év (20 years) - was released for this occasion with two new songs.
They announced their break up on April 1st in 2010, which was unfortunately not a joke.
Official Website: http://kispalesaborz.hu/