With their second album, album “Oko Town”, Swiss folk-pop band 77 Bombay Street fly to a fantasy world from where, full of hope, they can look back on their native country: Earth. It's at once an infectious folky journey and a giant adventure. An adventure which, with a twinkle in the eye, will open your eyes and take you to heights unknown.
For 77 Bombay Street are on the adventure of a lifetime. The debut album “Up In The Sky” (Gadget Records 2011) catapulted them into Swiss pop music heaven. Awarded double platinum and with sales over 70,000, their first work remained in the Swiss Top Sixty for over 80 consecutive weeks. Plus, it garnered the band two Swiss Music Awards for Best Album Pop Rock National and Best Hit National – one of the many highpoints on an unbelievable journey.
It was in 2008 that Matt (30), Joe (28), Esra (26) and Simri-Ramon (22) Buchli set up the band 77 Bombay Street in their grandparents' chalet in Scharans, Grisons. Since the four brothers were still sharing the one bedroom, the basement was quickly converted into a rehearsal room and the four – who all function as songwriters – began to melded the folk-music visions and dreams that were later to resurface as “Up In The Sky” From the start, the name of the band, 77 Bombay Street, was a nod to the big wide world out there. After all, the Buchli extended family with all of seven siblings had moved in 2001 to Australia for two years, where they lived at 77 Bombay Street in the Oaklands Park suburb of Adelaide. And so, from down under to the idyllic Canton of Grisons, the Buchli Four brought with them the broad perspectives and easy-going lifestyle of seasoned globetrotters. From “Band headquarter” in the Swiss Alps, then, they regularly sallied forth – clad in the uniforms that soon became their trademark – to perform at concerts and competitions, always with the dream come true of living their music on stage.
Just one year after the formation of the band, 77 Bombay Street won the Petit Prix Walo at the MyCokeMusic Soundcheck and picked up a recording contract in the process. Following the release of “Up In The Sky” in February 2011, thanks to their magical live shows, the band began to play themselves into the hearts and minds of increasingly larger audiences. Indeed, with an amazing crowd of 7,000 in front of the Waldbühne stage, they set an audience record for the famous Gurtenfestival in Bern. Since early 2012, they have been on tour in Switzerland, with all the concerts completely sold out. Anyone who has been to one of the Bombays' gigs will know that these are musicians who love and live music and that they can convey that joy to the people in the audience.
The truth is we're all seekers and we don't want to live in vain – seeker
Used any quiet moments available to pen new songs, Matt, Joe, Esra and Simri-Ramon retreated early 2012 into the Zurich-based 571 Studio to create the fantasy world of Oko Town from a pool of 80 or so ideas. The producer was Thomas Fessler who had also been on board for their “Up In The Sky” album. The result is a unique joint product from the four brothers. Not only are all of them credited as songwriters in the accompanying booklet; each of the four also sings on least one of the 14 songs on “Oko Town”. What emerges is a dream-like parallel world consisting of natural phenomena, animals and legendary film heroes such as Captain Kirk, James Bond, Superman and little Nemo – a world which provides hope for a sun-kissed paradise and the chance to forget the regulated office day so typical for industrious Swiss citizens. “Oko Town” moves impressively from the polyphonic catchy refrains of the Bombays' beginnings to the classic rock'n'roll of the Beatles and on to a warmer acoustic folk sound. Also inspired by the driving influences of recent American neo-folk and British indie rock, 77 Bombay Street exude an appealing mix of cool and the rousing joy of live music. During the recordings for “Oko Town” in 2012, the band performed outside Switzerland in Germany, England, France, Italy, Sweden and Holland. "What we have been privileged to experience over the last two years", say the Bombays almost unisono, "has shown that is possible to live your dream. The apparently impossible can happen as long as you believe in it and even if it seems totally irrational at first". The cover to “Oko Town” illustrates the line of approach which 77 Bombay Street have modelled in real life. Fitted out with new uniforms, the noble pioneers are striving for new land. The photo, which was shot in Normandy, thus symbolises both the "land in the water" at the outermost point of Europe and a departure from limits set by the everyday, out into the wide, wide world and onward – to Oko Town. (Text: Andreas Rohrer)