Sunday, 31 May 2015


by Timur Kulikov

Back to Canarias... Is it too early for me to miss all that rain?

Live music in Málaga and Santander, May 2015

I started the last month of my Santander stint in... Málaga.

  • 2 May: A Palo Seco @ Auditorio Edgar Neville, Málaga.
      I spent the long (alas, not long enough) weekend in Málaga, with people who are very dear to me. On Saturday we went to see Carmen González, with cantaores Ismael ‘El Bola’ and Manuel Zambullo, guitarist Miguel Pérez, percussionist Juan Heredia and a guest dancer Antonio Canales. The show was a part of IV Bienal de Arte Flamenco de Málaga.
  • 6 May: Lunática @ Rvbicón, Calle del Sol 4
      Four bearded guys called Chus, Nahúm, Charly and Héctor play acoustic rock in this intimate setting (could have been anyone’s kitchen), drawing the (mostly anglophone) material from their 2014 studio album, Take a Seat.
  • 7 May: Rice&Peas @ El Cazurro, Playa de La Arnía, Liencres
      A new local roots reggae band plays the original compositions. The venue was crowded so much I couldn’t even enter the main room. It must have been good then, but thanks (but no thanks) to El Cazurro’s acoustic properties, or lack thereof, it was only the bass line that I could hear clearly.
  • 12 May: Noelia Herrera Quartet @ Canela Bar, Plaza de Cañadio
      Noelia Herrera (vocal), Javier San Miguel Sr. (guitar), Javi San Miguel Jr. (sax) and Antonio Romero (bass) present jazz and bossa nova standards.
  • 13 May: Carol Martín & Los Manteca @ Rvbicón
      Carol Martín (vocal), Rafael Santana (piano), Toño Gutiérrez (bass) and Rodri Irizábal (drums) treat us to another evening of jazz, soul and funk, mostly standards but with interesting twists (e.g. Summertime as a samba), as well as original instrumental numbers.
  • 14 May: Malandro @ Rvbicón
      A trio of Gorka Hermosa (accordion), Alberto Vaquero (trumpet) and Javier Mayor (double bass), all music teachers, with guest Borja Barrueta (drums and percussion) play music that is difficult to pigeonhole... well, mostly jazzy tango and waltz, as I never heard before. In the end, they played a dedication to Paco de Lucía quoting some bits of Río Ancho. One of the few local bands I’d really love to have a CD, but, as Gorka kept mentioning, “recording of the album will start tomorrow”. He had other jokes too.
  • 19 May: Mud Candies @ Canela Bar
      A charming trio from Bilbao featuring Xandra (vocal, ukulele and percussion), Will (guitar and vocals) and Adri (double bass and vocals) play country, rockabilly and bluegrass.
  • 21 May: La sombra de Andrómeda @ El Cazurro
      A recently formed Cantabrian band playing intriguing fusion of 1970s-style instrumental prog rock and funk. Great musicianship, although, in my humble opinion, didgeridoo was superfluous at times.
  • 26 May: Havana Moon @ Canela Bar
      A mix of blues, funk and rock performed by Miriam Havana Manzanares (guitar and vocal), Luico Sánchez (guitar), Matt “Metrónomo Humano” Green (drums) and Tomás Monago (bass).
  • 27 May: Ryan Blotnick trio @ Rvbicón
      Modern jazz trio featuring Ryan Blotnick (electric guitar), Romeu Tristão (double bass) and João Lopes Pereira (drums).
  • 28 May: Bolero Night with Mabel Sierra @ Desafinado Wine & Jazz, Barrio Las Mazas 15, Liencres
      Mabel was the first musician I’ve got acquainted with in Santander. She also happens to be the best singer I ever knew in person. It couldn’t be better choice for my last night in Santander. I definitely didn’t expect her to dedicate the first song of the evening, Mucho Corazón, to me. And then, another one. Thank you.
I heard and learned so much during this year. Good bye, Santander.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Amor en tiempos de Ikea

by Nadine O’Garra

According to the artist’s website,

Love in Times of IKEA is a solo performance, created and performed by Nadine O’Garra, a circus—theatre multimedia—monologue piece, in the form of vertical dance and video projections.
I actually did not read this description before going to Café de Las Artes Teatro and so did not know what to expect. Some sort of circus performance maybe? I liked the name and went anyway.

It turned out to be part acrobatics, part stand-up comedy. This second part was the best. There were not too much existential revelations, not to me at least, but I did find it funny, if not hilarious throughout, and Nadine was charming. I was surprised how short the performance was (only about 30 minutes), but short is better than long, and I doubt there could be enough IKEA-related funny material for, say, a 90-minute show.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Live music in Santander, April 2015

I spent first ten days of April in England. I had a great time meeting my friends. I went busking with Arco Iris in Cambridge city centre and to a class of kizomba in Nomad club, London. I also had an overload of nostalgia. I think there should be a law forbidding visits to nostalgia-inducing places. I was glad to be back to Santander and go to my favourite live music spots.

  • 11 April: The First Anniversary of Desafinado Wine & Jazz, Barrio Las Mazas 15, Liencres
      This was an amazing concert featuring many bands and musicians who were performing at Desafinado throughout its first year of life: Adriana Blue, Chucho Manoucho, Saul Crespo, Eder Paiva Jazz Quartet, El Tumbao, Denise, Mabel Sierra... The party went from 7 pm beyond midnight.
  • 14 April: Fiesta de la República @ Rvbicón, Calle del Sol 4
      Politically charged, and at times very funny, songs from Cantabrian cantautores.
  • 15 April: César Latorre Trio @ Rvbicón
      César Latorre (piano), Petros Klampanis (bass) and Iago Fernández (drums) play innovative and melodic jazz full of interesting twists and pauses. Rvbicón is probably the only bar in Santander were one can play this kind of music and expect the audience to listen in silence.
  • 16 April: Bolero Night @ Desafinado Wine & Jazz
      With Lázaro Álvarez Fuentes (vocal, congas) and Eduardo Nápoles (piano).
  • 24 April: Chebú @ El Café de Noa, Calle Alcázar de Toledo 1
      Chebú is a duo of Yenia Popova (vocal) and Nahúm Cobo (guitar and piano), this time accompanied by Dani Simons (double bass) and “Charly” Pérez (drums). An evening full of magic and surprises. La Celestina by Lhasa de Sela was the first one; also, it was the only Spanish-lyrics song. Most of the songs are sung in English, with some bits in Russian. I wonder how many people in Santander know the meaning of “достать чернил и плакать”.
  • 26 April: Fiesta de Primavera @ Calle del Sol
      Great street party, with market, workshops, traditional and not-so-traditional food, and, of course, live music. Discoveries of the day: Korokotta Dixie Band (traditional jazz) and, all the way from France, Rolland Merguez (funk/brass/soul).
  • 28 April: Saul Crespo Standards Group @ Canela Bar
      Saul Crespo (violin), Fer Serrano (piano), Dani Simons (double bass) and Rubén Ortiz (drums) play swing and modern jazz standards including Donna Lee, Footprints, So What and Some Day My Prince Will Come. Magnificent.
  • 29 April: Pablo & Lola @ Rvbicón
      The Argentine duo Pablo Garaffa and Dolores Torre play songs based on traditional rhythms such as chacarera, zamba, cueca and candombe. Catchy tunes and great sense of humour.
One more month to go, Santander. It’s better be good.