Saturday, 28 February 2015

Live music in Santander, February 2015

Man, there was a lot of it!

  • 1 February: Jam Manouche @ Rubicón, Calle del Sol 4
      Now already a tradition!
  • 4 February: Funky Station @ Rubicón
      Funky Station, in that evening incarnation, was Sergio González (guitar and vocals), Francisco Gómez (guitar), Carlos Gutiérrez (bass and vocals) and Natxo Miralles (drums). Don’t be fooled by the band’s name: it’s not only funk, but also jazz, blues, rock’n’roll, even samba... Delightful, if somewhat directionless, mix. As it happens in Rubicón, some encores ensued featuring the guest artists who just happened to sit there at the bar.
  • 5 February: Phil Grijuela and Iván Velasco @ El Cazurro, Playa de La Arnía, Liencres
      I saw these guys last month performing during La Noche Americana at Rubicón. To my surprise, the program was almost completely different. The highlights included Like a Rolling Stone and Whiskey in the Jar.
  • 7 February: Gou Live @ Desafinado Wine & Jazz, Barrio Las Mazas 15, Liencres
      Chema Armengou (DJ set), Sergio Mayoral (trumpet) and Mabel Sierra (vocal) mix electronic and live music.
  • 9 February: The Dustaphonics @ New Planet Rock Bar, Calle Santa Lucía 8
  • 13 February: Pepe Habichuela @ Salón de actos de la Fundación Botín, Pedrueca 1
      I simply had no right to miss a concert of this humble legend of flamenco (he played with Camarón de la Isla and Enrique Morente, among others). And what a concert it was! Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the names of the singer and the percussionist, who were just as outstanding as maestro himself.
  • 14 February: El Pescao @ Carnival of Santoña
      I was told Santoña is about the only place in Cantabria worth visiting to see a carnival parade. Quite predictably, it was raining most of the evening, so my friends and I ended up in the big marquee in the centre of the town and saw El Pescao there. I never heard about this band before but, as I learned now, it is very popular. Lot of people actually knew the lyrics! I didn’t care much for their pop-rock songs but reggae/ska stuff was quite decent; I wish they played more of that.
  • 17 February: Adriana Blu & The Sugars @ Canela Bar, Plaza de Cañadio
      A talented singer and a great band playing jazz, soul, bolero and bossa-nova standards. They are based in Santander so I hope to see them again soon.

  • 18 February: Yakeen @ Rubicón
      A four-strong trio from Toulouse, comprising Adrien Aragón (steel string guitar), Matthieu Guenez (Spanish guitar), Dimitri Laboire (double bass) and a violinist who was introduced to the public as simply Matthieu. Not just another jazz manouche band, their repertoire includes compositions by Chick Corea, Paco de Lucía and Vicente Amigo. Two and a half hours (at least, not counting the interval) of pure sonic pleasure.
  • 20 February: Cromática Pistona @ Café de las Artes Teatro, Calle García Morato 4
      Wow. When you see a band like this, you are spoiled for choice: either sit and stare open-mouthed; go dancing; or, if you are feeling adventurous, go dancing open-mouthed. I chose the first option, not least because I didn’t want to trip over the cables in front of the band, whereas if I went to the cable-free area, I would lose the view of them, and probably my seat. Anyway, there were more than enough people who even knew how to dance swing. (According to the band’s Facebook page, “El principal objetivo de la Cromática es lograr que el público baile sin parar en los conciertos”.) Wonderfully happy and diverse music played with lots of humour and style.

  • 24 February: Hermes Quartet @ Canela Bar
      Hermes de la Torre (piano), Saúl Crespo (violin), Miguel Díez (cello) and Daniel Rodríguez (percussion) with special guests Eva Maza (vocal) y Jorge Pérez (recitative). A history of Cuban music from 1890 to the present.
  • 26 February: Hula Baby @ El Cazurro
      This was the first time that I was unable to progress to the main sitting (playing, dancing) room of El Cazurro. So I and my friend stayed by the bar, enjoying beer, nice food and a view of the public trying to dance while closely-packed. As for music, it was rather straightforward good old rock’n’roll well played but, thanks to the acoustic properties of the place, I wasn’t even sure which songs were sung in Spanish and which in English.
I’m tired of winter. Thank you Cantabria for the Carnival break (unheard of in the UK, though rather short by Canarian standards) and for all this music.

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