суббота, 27 августа 2016 г.

Sonorama 2016. The Report: The Best Of... Part One

I'd like to change the pattern I've been following for three years telling you about Sonorama. So this time I'm not going to do my usual day-by-day reports in this boring 'been there, saw that' manner.
And now let's strat from...

...The Band That Made Me Cry:
Modelo De Respuesta Polar (Saturday 13th, 13:00, Plaza del Trigo). Their current music (as evidenced by albums "Cariño" and "Dos Amigos") may tend to quietness and emotions hidden under the surface, but live they are tight and powerful as ever. Borja Mompo and his mates created their three-guitar soundscapes to such soul-wrenching effect that in a certain moment I've found myself crying. Nobody noticed it as I was wearing my usual sunglasses.

The Most Emotionally Impressive Show:
Carmen Boza (Sunday 14th, 12:00, Plaza del Trigo). If on Modelo De Respuesta Polar I just shed a tear or two, then the next day I've cried all the show of Carmen Boza through. I'm quite sentimental in everything that concerns music. I'm pretty easily getting goosebumps when I'm listening to a great song. And when I'm listening to the songs SUCH great sung by the voice THAT strong it's... I couldn't help but started to cry no matter how foolish I might look at the moment. This girl is so talented that when she only starts to sing it's already overwhelming.

The Best Show Overall:
Leon Benavente (Friday 12th, 23:35, Castilla Y Leon). It's beyond me how they do it. No visual effects, no stage scenery. Only three [almost] motionless persons and the velvet baritone and the over-the-edge splashing energy of the frontman Abraham Boba as the glue for all parts. On the new album "2" Leon Benavente shifted their stylistics a bit closer to the ice-cold postpunk-based crossover in the vein of El Columpio Asesino but the sound of their live performances stays more or less the same, and the new songs, such as "Tipo D" or "Aun No Ha Salido El Sol", perfectly fit to old favourites "Animo Valiente" or "Ser Brigada". That makes me wonder even further how they do it. Every time they are almost the same and every time it's thrilling.

The Second Best Show Overall:
L.A (Thursday 11th, 0:00, Castilla Y Leon). Two years ago we missed their show because they were set to perform at 02.00 am, and it was too late for us. This time it was much easier to spend 45 minutes with the crepuscular charm of Luis A. Segura and his band. The set covered the new era of the band (starting from the album "Heavenly Hell" on) with all the best tracks included, such as "Clocks" from aforementioned "Heavenly Hell" or "In America" from the most recent release, the brilliant "From The City To The Ocean Side". The red-lighted fog shrouded the stage while Luis played electric guitar, palyed acoustic guitar (without support of the band), played drums, and it was spectacular by all means.

The Best Show I Didn't See:
Izal (Saturday 13th, 0:45, Ribera del Duero). This edition of Sonorama has marked the new record in terms of attendance (I don't know the exact figure but it's over 60,000 people). It seems like the new record was set for the attendance of the single show as well, cos I've never seen the crowd like that. The audience has filled all the space of recinto ferial throughout - up to the WC's zone on the far back. Even the VIP zone was overcrowded that made us observe the show through the branches and leaves of the young magnolia tree. Moreover, in the middle of the show we were approached by our friend Rafa Tuñon, the frontman of Paciente Cero. So we talked to him a couple of Mikel's songs away.
Mikel Izal and his band has grown up to his current stature right before our eyes. Four years ago we saw them on some small local fests. Three years ago we could easily get to the first line before the stage to see them performing in 1.5 meters from us. And now they are The Most Important Band Of The Moment... It's nice, but I can't tell you that I saw their performance though I stayed there for this. The picture below will tell you why:

The Best Show No One Attended:
Clara Plath (Thursday 11th, 19:00, Carson Camping). It's such a pity that nobody came to see this band. Clara Plath was scheduled to play in Carson Camping at 7 p.m - right at the moment when the main stages come to action, so it was probably the worst timeslot to perform outside the recinto ferial space. But we were there, and we saw the band doing their best and playing competently and cohesively like if they were performing before the 200+ pairs of eyes.

The 'I Don't Get It' Show:
Kitai (Friday 12th, 14:00, Plaza del Trigo). This was the most brutal show of  all four Sonoramas that I beheld, equally cruel as to spectators as to musicians. The singer Alex acted with the ferocious beast-like aggression that splashed around like the wine he spoiled on himself in the middle of the show. The drummer Deiv played his drums on the God-like level. The bass player Fab did Flea pretty successfully. And the axeman Edu was competent as well. But all the components did not work well together musically. For me it seemed like the structure of songs didn't fit well for the venue, the music sounded disjointed at times and the melodies existed on the verge of falling apart.
But anyway, as a show it was one of these 'Yeah, I was there!' shows.

The Discovery Of The Year:
Disciplina Atlantico (Friday 12th, 19:50, Burgos). I was learned about this band before cos I liked their 4-song EP that was released earlier this year. But I didn't expect them to be so great onstage. They're loud, they're fast, they're noisey, they're melodic. They were vital. And I will pray for Disciplina Atlantico to successfully transfer their live energy into the studio recordings.

The 'Bloody Hell!' Show:
Echo (Friday 12th, 20:00, MeetinArts/Musica Creativa). We came to see this young band accidentally. We just walked through recinto ferial up to VIP zone to have ourselves some wine trying to kill time between Disciplina Atlantico and Leon Benavente. Absolutely unintentionally we decided to pass through the MeetinArts tent, and... This is what I like the most. You just hear something by chance and then you got stunned literally in seconds. This was the case. They looked young, I mean, VERY young - but what they did was really astounding. The girl with acoustic guitar on the forefront - oh my god, she sounded like she needed no microphone at all.

The Band Of The Year:
Igloo (Thursday 11th, 22:30, Burgos). Our favourite band, our friends, the amazing persons. Beni, Berto, Julian, JuanMa, we appreciate every moment we spent together, and we miss you so much now!
The band garnered less attention than it could due to the fact that their timeslot coincided with the Duo Dinamico show in the main stage. There should have been much more people otherwise, I guess. But it's usual situation when the lesser bands suffer from the main stages' schedule. Anyway we enjoyed the performance much cos it was the pure pleasure to see these folks onstage. Starting from the first track ("Ausencia Parcial") to the last one ("Sin Mentiras") we were raving as hell.
Other things to menion are: the pokeballs (don't ask), and the appearance of Rodrigo Valiente (The Trunks) for supporting role (next morning Beni and JuanMa themselves would appear along with The Trunks on Plaza del Trigo to return the friendly service back).

The Last Great Impression Of The Fest:
Viva Suecia (Sunday 14th, 21:00, Carson Camping). According to the merits of their album "La Fuerza Mayor", Viva Suecia is my favourite band of the current year. All they needed is to confirm their abilities onstage - and they surely did it on the last night of the festival. There couldn't have been the best way to finalize #SonoramaRibera2016 for me.

среда, 24 августа 2016 г.

Sonorama 2016. The Report: The Prologue

Aranda de Duero is such a lovely place with the beautiful historic old part and three rivers (river Duero and two creeks) that are crossing the face of the town. It's so nice to walk down the narrow streets by the evening looking at the happy families that are sitting in the caffeterias drinking cold white wine... It's all so quiet and beautiful being washed over by the light of the street lamps...
But everything is changed every year in the middle of August when Sonorama comes to town.
At least three important things could make you el perfecto festivalero when you come to Aranda de Duero, the land of music, wine and lechazo, in August:
  1. The physical fitness.
  2. The preparation.
  3. The plan.

The first thing is obvious. It's about walking, running and staying up on you legs for 14-15 hours per day with the diet of beer, calimocho and fastfood - please remember that when you are off from the midday section of concerts, most of the restaurants are closing the kitchen, so you ain't going to have a good lunch with, dunno, soup and stake. Tapas and bocadillos are your only choice. Your sleep will clock in 5-5.5 hours at best. And yes, there's a lot of other people wanting to get to the first line at the stage. 
The preparation. You need to be learned about what you are going to see. There are 140+ bands in the line up - a lot of them you've probably never listened to. You should spend some time to give yourself a listen to get an impression of the most of them, or you're going to miss something great.
The plan. Oh, no. THE PLAN. Let me repeat it: there are 140+ bands in the line up. If you want to see the considerable part of them you shouldn't mess the things up. In every certain moment you should know when, where, and for what. You should have the route in your head. You should have the perfect timing to get where you want to be on time and to avoid getting through the overcrowded spaces on your way up there.
Or you may omit these rules and just slack around the area for 4-5 days interconnecting with other people and having fun. Maybe you're going to miss something, but surely you will be absolutely happy soaking up the atmosphere of the festival with every pore of your body.

пятница, 5 августа 2016 г.

Sonorama 2016. 10 Hidden Treasures Of The Festival

The new edition of Sonorama will start in less than one week. So it's time to get yourself prepared. Almost 5 days, a lot of bands and a couple of additional stages - all this could make quite troublesome to observe all interesting things that would occur, so Spanish redes sociales recently started to produce some guides to help the audience to get through less-known names - the guides like this or this. Or this

If everybody else is doing it, so why can't I? Please find below my version of such guide - the list of 10 bands that might be overlooked but surely deserve your attention.

Thursday, 11th:
Clara Plath (Escenario Carson Camping, 19:00)
Led by the just-married couple of Clara Plath (vocals, guitars) and Roberto Lopez (guitars, synths, backing vocals), this up-and-coming band from Murcia is going to blow the pieces of your brains all over the General Guttierrez Park territory with their 90's grungy indie rock.

Copiloto (Escenario Burgos, 19:50)
Failing to achieve the mainstream success with his albums #2 & #3 (respectively, "Un Segundo Luminoso" and "El Inicio, El Desencanto y El Circulo de Confianza", both on Grabaciones En El Mar) though seemingly standing on the verge of it, the Aragonese singer/songwriter Javier Almazan somehow slowed the things down with his Copiloto project, but his abilities are still strong - which was evidenced by his most recent release "Los Puentes Hundidos" ((c)2015 Grabaciones En El Mar).

Igloo (Escenario Burgos, 22:30)
Standing tall amongst the best Spanish bands that never made it to the top, the Galician quartet Igloo without any doubt deserves to perform on the main stage. Anyway, the convoluted (and not always fair) ways of fame could just make this band one of the best kept secrets in the Spanish rock history.

Friday, 12th:
The Trunks (Plaza Del Trigo, 12:00)
Last year The Trunks were performing on the Red Bull Tour Bus stage before the pretty limited audience. This year they got the chance to attract much more people with their energetic and tuneful alternative rock on the Sonorama's most emblematic showcase.

Papaya (Escenario Charco, 15:45)
With the voice that can't be confused with someone else's, the tight melodies and the gentleman-like appearance, Chilean-born Canary inhabitant Yanara Espinoza appeared as one of the greatest discoveries of year 2015 with the debut effort "No Me Quiero Enamorar" ((p)Jabalina Musica). Definitely, it wouldn't be your smartest decision to omit her live performance.

Detergente Liquido (Escenario Carson Camping, 18:00)
Along with their pals Homeless and MOR right now before our eyes Detergente Liquido are resurfacing the indie scene of Cadiz. As fresh as funny, this band will surely do everything they can to make you fall for them.

Saturday, 13th:
Amatria (Plaza Del Trigo, 12:00)
An year ago (or so) Joni Antequera got his first hit single with "Chinches", the track off his third album (first under the wing of Subterfuge). The funny thing is that "Chinches" is probably the worst song he ever recorded. But the rest of his songs are much better, and his show seems to be the perfect way to start the saturday's program.

Paciente Cero (Escenario Burgos, 19:00)
These guys were so great two years ago, and they only got better since then (this is the case when the less words the better).

Sunday, 14th:
Carmen Boza (Plaza Del Trigo, 12:00)
I can [as proudly as humbly] declare this 'I loved her before she was famous' thing. Carmen Boza is great, and I'm pretty sure that her show will be the unforgettable one.

Viva Suecia (Escenario Carson Camping, 21:00)
The auteurs of the best album of 2016 so far and one of the most promising young bands right now - how much reasons do you need to consider it necessary to attend their performance?