It is a difficult and fascinating attempt to describe the music of Illegal Operation. With one foot in the swamps of Misissipi and the other in the swamps of the Athenian night, they juggle with a unique ability among blues, rock and experimentation. For over a decade, they enjoy traveling around the outer musical universe and returning to share their adventures with their friends. A dynamic gang that likes to shake the nights of the city with their live appearances, a musical collective that exists to create, to tease, to upset.
The band was formed in 2000, on the occasion of the “Blues Festival” of Petroupolis, by Manolis Aggelakis (guitar vocals), Stathis Ioannou (guitar), Antonis Livieratos (keyboards, vocals), Kostas Katalimatias (bass), Marios Sarakinos (drums) and Giannis Marinos (trombone). They began their discography with two singles, the “red” and the “yellow”. In 2001 they released their first studio album on the historical independent label Hitch Hyke. It was titled “Blue Project” and among their own tracks it included lewd versions of classic blues standards of Leadbelly, Willie Dixon and Blind Lemon Jefferson. But these versions represent a completely personal and extraordinary point of view, which makes them stand out from the “typical” blues bands. For Illegal, the blues is not the end but the beginning of their own mark. They do not talk about stories they heard, but about the stories that they live. So there are no inhibitions in their approach. Their performances agitated the waters of the music scene and created a loyal circle of friends, which continues to be present at their concerts until today. Meanwhile, the structure of the team changed: the trombonist Giannis Marinos left the band, while Kostas Kotzampopoulos played in their gigs as an alternate bassist.
A year later, in 2002, Illegal Operation released ‘Bust Again” on Hitch Hyke, an EP which contained tracks of their own and cover versions of John Barry and of B. Goldenberg’s music theme of the television series «Kojak». Shortly after this release, Antonis Livieratos left the band. A collaboration with Giorgos Tsalkidis (aka dj Lostromos) leads to his joining the ranks of the group with multiple tasks on guitar, keyboards, drums and trombone.
They always continue to write songs and to appear at any stage, carrying the message and their music everywhere. In their eleven-year journey, the Illegal have played with artists and bands such as Canned Heat, Big Sleep, Louis Tillet, Tricky, Gallon Drunk, Sivert Hoyem, Savage Republic and The Last Drive. In 2011 the Illegal Operation joined their forces with Inner Ear for the release of the album “The 3rd Day”.
Five years later they are back with a new album entitled “Down”.