BERE GRATIS

1998

In 1998, Mihai 'Mitza' Georgescu (vocals), Robert Anghelescu (keyboards) and Marius Dobre (guitar) were playing at the time in a band named “Ghost”. Together with Mihai 'Magga' Suciu (drums) and Marius Mirea (bass guitar), they founded a new band, settling for the name "Bere Gratis" (in Romanian this means "Free Beer"), which was suggested by a good friend, Alexandru Catona (Cato).

Alexandru Catona şi Robert Anghelescu
Alexandru Catona and Robert Anghelescu

Even though the name “Bere Gratis” makes one think of summer, sun, sea, beer and fun, as the years have passed the listeners of the band discovered that the lyrics of Bere Gratis also talk about love, friendship, family, emotions. The message of the lyrics is combined with quality music and respect for the audience.

At the end of 1998 they recorded the single “Fara rusine” (“No shame”), which was released on the compilation album “Tu poti fi vedeta” (“You can be a star”) (A&A Records).

1999

In spring 1999 Matei Damian-Ulmu replaces Marius Dobre on the guitar.

The singles “Cea mai frumoasa fata” (“The most beautiful girl”) and “Ce misto” (“How cool”) were recorded in Magic Sound Studio (“East & Art” Production House) and released on the first single CD of the band.

In the summer of 1999 Ovidiu Halmagean becomes the producer of the band. With his help the band starts recording their first studio album (at Voices Studio, Iasi) in November.

2000

The first production contract is signed with Nova Music Entertainment. Also their first album is released on May 20th, 2000, named “De vanzare” (“For sale”).

“Ce misto” (“How cool”) is the first single of the album to be promoted on radio and TV, followed by “Ultrafete” (“Supergirls”) and “Curtea scolii” (“Schoolyard”).

2001

New changes take place regarding the members of the band. Vlad Vedes is the new bassist of the band and Oliver Sterian the new drummer. The second album, “Vino mai aproape” (“Come closer”) is released on Nov. 28th, 2001.

The first single of this album was “Unu mai” (“May 1st”), followed by “Señor, señor”, “Vino mai aproape” (“Come closer”) and “Nebun” (“Crazy”).

2002

In February 2002 Marian Saracu takes the place of Oliver Sterian on the drums.

In the summer the band goes to Fribourg, Switzerland. There the boys record three of the songs for their next album: “La tine as vrea sa vin” (“It's you I want to come to”), “Strazi albastre” (“Blue streets”), and “Cineva ma iubeste” (“Someone loves me”).

Cristi Solomon joins the band as their music producer.

The single “Strazi albastre” (“Blue streets”) is released in November.

2003

The new single “La tine as vrea sa vin” (“It's you I want to come to”) entered the top 10 of Romanian Top 100 and stayed there for several weeks.

The third album - “Acolo Sus” (“Up there”) - is released on June 26th in a concert in Bucharest, revealing a richer sound of the band.

In September 2003, the third single of this album, “Poveste de oras” (“City tale”), is released on the celebration of the band's 5 years anniversary.

2004

An important event for the band's evolution took place on January 26th, 2004. Using the National Theatre in Bucharest for location, the band held a huge concert named “Electrika” to celebrate its 5 years existence. The entire concert was filmed and on July 7th the DVD “Electrophonica - Live” was officially released. This was the first surround DVD for a Romanian band.

In the fall of 2004 “Post Restant” is released. This is the 4th album of the band. The first single promoted was “Eu nu am sa te las” (“I'm not going to let you”).

2005

On February 7th another huge concert took place in the same location, the National Theatre in Bucharest, to promote their fourth album.

In March the single “Campuri de lupta” (“Battlefields”) is released. After a few months the band releases a video on music channels for the song “Post Restant”. The video uses the footage that was shot during the concert in February.

2006

The video for their first single from their next album is released on April 29th. The song is called “Speranta din priviri” (“The hope in your eyes”).

On June 1st, the EP album “Editie de buzunar” (“Pocket Edition”) is released in Music Club, Bucharest.

In September the promotion for the song “Ce n-a vazut Parisul” (“Not even Paris has seen this”) begins.

2007

In February new changes in the band take place: Matei Damian-Ulmu leaves the band and Vlad Vedes replaces him on guitar. Nicu Avram joins the band to play bass guitar.

In July the boys go to Switzerland to sing in the festival “Ete Tchaux 2007” in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The band played under the name “The Postcards”. Using this name they released an EP containing two songs in English: “Where we go” (“Unde mergem”) and “Rosy” (which is actually the English version of “Campuri de lupta”). The EP album was recorded in Relief Studio (Fribourg, Switzerland) by Dom Torche and produced by W2prod – Wave2prod SA (Switzerland).

On Oct. 30th the video for “In brate” (“In my arms”) is released and in December a new Bere Gratis album is released: “Revolutie de catifea” (“Velvet revolution”).

2008

On March 21st the video for the song “Curcubeu” (“Rainbow”) is filmed.

A new single is released at the end of the year: “Vacanta la Roma” (“Vacation in Rome”).

2009

In the same anniversary location that the Bere Gratis audience got used to, the National Theatre in Bucharest, the band held a 10 years anniversary concert on February 23rd. It was a true spectacle of lights, emotions, great music and lyrics that made this concert unforgettable.

In June the boys released the album “Bere Gratis - Live X” (X referring to the 10 years of the band's existence). It is a double audio CD recorded during the February concert. The song promoting this album is “Gloria”.

Between Sept. 2nd and 6th, the International Music Festival “Cerbul de Aur” ("The Golden Stag") took place in Brasov. In the beginning of the festival, Mihai interpreted the famous Queen song “I want to break free”. On the first night of the contest the Russian singer Nikolay Demidov sang the Bere Gratis song “Curcubeu” (“Rainbow”) and on the second night, Rolf Jr. from Estonia interpreted the song “In brate” (“In my arms”).

In December a new studio album was released: “Pe marele ecran” (“The world is a stage”). The song promoting it is “Pas in doi” (“Paso doble”).

In 2009 Bere Gratis participated in a few civic actions such as “March on Stage” (for the children with Down syndrome), UNICEF Gala in Romania, “The Recycling Movement” and “ECO Litoral” (an ecological movement for the Romanian seaside). One of the most important humanitarian campaigns of 2009 had the goal of raising funds for the establishment of a cardio-surgery department at the Marie Curie Children's Hospital in Bucharest. The campaign ended on July 26th with a concert where Bere Gratis sang together with Bucharest Wind Orchestra.

2010

The year debuts with a change in the members of the band: Vlad Vedes and Nicu Avram are replaced by Marius "Neuro" Bob (guitar) and Radu Vastag (bass).

In March 2009 “Pas in doi” won the award for "Best Pop Rock Song of the Year" at the gala organized by Radio Romania Actualitati.

In 2010 Bere Gratis’ participation at concerts organized for charity purposes continued. The first concert, organized in February - "Cantec pentru Haiti" ("Song for Haiti") - had the goal of raising funds for the children of Haiti, a state heavily affected by an earthquake. The humanitarian actions organized by Fundatia “Salvati-va Ingerii” ("Save your Angels" Foundation) for raising funds for the new Marie Curie Children's Hospital from Bucharest continued. These actions undertaken didn’t leave the various personalities from the cultural, social and sports life of Romania untouched. On the 1st of June Bere Gratis, together with other important names of Romanian pop rock music, participated pro bono at the mega concert "Rock pentru Viata" ("Rock for Life"). On the 1st of September Mihai played "Fotbal pentru Viata” (“Football for Life”), a game organized for charity purposes. Many artists and sportsmen were reunited on the field, playing for a noble, humanitarian cause.

The second half of December finds the new Bere Gratis album entitled "O colectie" (“A collection”) on the market. The album contains a collection of sensitive songs filled with hope, optimism and has a calming effect on its listeners. Moreover as the winter holidays approach this album is perfect to listen to, near the stove, surrounded by the dear ones. The album contains only ballads, composed during the 12 years activity of the band. The ballads found of the album were rearranged; moreover two new ones were composed: “Stai pe acelasi drum” (“Stay on the same side of the road”) and “Flori de camp la fereastra" ("Field flowers at the window”).

2011

28 February a well-known site, a true trademark of Bere Gratis “TNB” (National Theatre of Bucharest) hosted a grand concert. Entitled after the song “Stai pe acelasi drum” (“Stay on the same side of the road”), the concert can be considered a true gift celebrating the coming of spring, a musical “Martisor”. The band with various great artists offered unforgettable duets: with Gheorghe Zamfir the songs “Iertat” (“Forgiven”) and “Iti mai aduci aminte” (“Do you remember”), with Paula Seling the song “Stai pe acelasi drum”, with Smiley the song “La dolce vita”, Guess Who the song “hEroina” (“hEroine”) and Robert Turcescu the song “Ce misto” (“How Cool”). This was launch concert of the album “O colectie” (“A collection”).

In March at the Gala organized by Radio Romania Actualitati, Bere Gratis` song “Stai pe acelasi drum” was awarded “Best Pop-Rock Song of the Year 2010”.

Among the more than forty concerts held in clubs, different venues for performances or open air here are some of the most important ones: "Live in Garajul Europa FM" (Live from the Garage of Europa FM radio station) in Bucharest, "Sinaia Forever" Festival, the series of concerts held at Plaja Belona (Belona Beach) in Eforie Nord, and special guests at some sports related events (Finala Cupei Romaniei Timișoreana - Brasov, Marele Mars Ciclist al Bucurestiului and Gala sportului romanesc - Bucharest).

2012

As an introduction of the band`s upcoming album two songs are released: at the beginning of January ”Ringul the dans” (”Dance floor”), a song with indie-pop and electronic influences and on 2 May live at Europa FM’s studio „Povestea mea” (”My story”).

On 30 May a new concert ”Live in Garajul Europa FM” (Live from the Garage of Europa FM radio station) was held in order to present and promote the band`s 8th studio album released with the title ”In fata ta” (”Before you”). The album was distributed exclusively with the 14 June edition of Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper.

19 November Teatrul National Bucuresti (National Theatre of Bucharest) marks the date and the venue of Bere Gratis` next major event: the concert ”In fata ta” (Before you) promoting the newly released album. The special guests of the concert (Elena Gheorghe and Calin Goia) alongside with other artists, friends and collaborators, contributed to the creation of unforgettable moments within this truly exceptional show. The playlist included the new songs of the album as well as older ones, composed during the band`s 14 years of activity.

In order to support the humanitarian campaign "Impreuna pentru cei mici - SMS 8844" (Together for the little ones – SMS 8844), aimed to help the renovation of Marie Curie Children's Hospital`s department of surgery, Bere Gratis composed the song ”Mie imi pasa de îngerii mei” (”I truly care about my angels”). The song was performed together with the choir ”Accoustic”, conducted by Daniel Jinga.

2013

This year marked the beginning of successful collaborations with well-known artists. Bere Gratis released two new singles, ”Doua inimi” (Two hearts) in May featuring Giulia and "O lume nebuna" (A mad world) featuring Zhao in December.

In order to celebrate 15 years of existence and to meet its ”echo” (public) , the band organized several concerts, some featuring special guests: Paula Seling, Giulia, Ioana Anuta, Zhao, Shift, and an anniversary tour.

The anniversary tour ”Doua inimi - Bere Gratis 15 ani” (Two hearts - Bere Gratis 15 years) also the first national tour of the band, included 6 cities (Brasov, Galati, Suceava, Iasi, Sibiu and Alba Iulia). The second half of this tour is scheduled for February-March 2014.