Águias Reais ‘Show da Ilha’ (Rebita, 1973)
Long overdue update here. So I hope you enjoy this wonderful instrumental semba track by Águias Reais!
The first members of Águias Reais (The Royal Eagles) met while learning arts and crafts at Casa Pia de Luanda (a public boarding school for underprivileged children ran by the colonial powers). António Nunes da Costa (clarinet), Marçal Nicácio Gomes (voice and dikanza), Manuel António (alto sax), Ângelo Quental (drums) and brothers António Manuel Gonçalves (aka Massangano, guitar) and Benedito Manuel Gonçalves (aka Nito, bass) were part of Angola’s burgeoning popular music scene of the sixties, alongside bands such as África Show, Negoleiros do Ritmo, Jovens do Prenda, Kiezos, Ekos, Astros, África Ritmos, Gambuzinos, Anangola, Ngoma Jazz, Anjos, Afro Sound Star, Ases do Prenda, Kinzas, Bongos, etc.
But simply put it’s just impossible to trace the many Águias Reais line-up changes. Legendary guitarist Baião and bassist Manuelito had short stints with the band, as did Avôzinho, but it was the addition of crooner Carlos Lamartine (and his brother, Gregório Mulato) that had the most profound effect on its sound and commercial appeal. In the late sixties and early seventies Zeca Pilhas Secas (guitar), Manuel Claudino (bass), Gaby Pireza (guitar), Zeca Jacó (dikanza) and Julinho (percussion) were the supporting cast. The often mentioned proto-kuduro track “Bazooka” was recorded around 1971.
But Lamartine left and in 1973 single “Show da Ilha”/“Mariana” (issued by Fadiang’s Rebita imprint with ref# 1101) was recorded with Constantino and Gino on the guitars and singer Calabeto on lead-vocals. It was around then that Águias Reais became singers David Zé’s and Urbano de Castro’s backing band. Some of Águias Reais’s members were recently involved with Conjunto Angola 70, touring selected European cities.