Last week, somewhere downtown, I saw a poster suspiciously similar to that of The Buttshakers gig. It got me intrigued but also made me a bit uneasy: if I go to see them, I thought, comparisons would be inevitable. I did a bit of online research and, while I enjoyed their studio work a lot, I couldn’t say the same about their live clips on YouTube. I had my doubts till the last moment. Good thing that you can save couple of euros buying entrada anticipada, which I did (I’ve got entrada nº 25!) in Cuchillería Ibáñez, Calle Guevara, 6, about one hour before the show started. (A curious establishment which apparently sells only two types of things: knives and concert tickets.) I am glad that I eventually got to the show, because the quality of the aforementioned live recordings simply does not do justice to the band.
I turned up to New Planet Rock Bar exactly on time (20:30) and found it tragically empty. The man on the doors assured me that it will start soon, maybe in quarter of an hour. Fifteen minutes later, there indeed were some people inside. The band (Hayley Red, vocals; Yvan Serrano-Fontova, guitar; Dan Whaley, bass; Eric Frajria, drums) were hanging around the bar looking a bit lost. But when they started playing, you could hear Quality straight away.
Now I can’t be sure but I think that at first the Londoners were a bit puzzled by the size and reaction of the audience. Hence numerous calls of “Come on, Santander!!!” persuasion which did not quite work, at least initially. In the end, The Dustaphonics did reach to the people through their sheer power of musicianship and made them sing and (sort of) dance. The songs, mostly originals, were awesome. I can’t say what style is it though. Wait, I actually can: it’s rock’n’roll, with bits of surf and soul here and there, but it’s rock’n’roll alright. As for the lady in front: can this girl sing the blues! And you know what, not even once were The Buttshakers on my mind during the show. Which is great, because now I love both bands. Unconditionally.
All in all, it was a resounding success. Don’t forget the public were not some random blokes but rock aficionados who made a special effort to come here on a Monday night. In Santander. Maybe it wasn’t exactly una bacanal de baile y desenfreno, but the band had elicited probably the biggest response from this audience one could ever hope for. Respect.
The Dustaphonics continue their Spanish tour this week with concerts in Pontevedra, Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Vitoria.