If you know anything at all about me, you’ll know that spending a Sunday evening listening to symphonic orchestra is not my idea of a good time. In my early days, the (otherwise joyous) burials of the Politburo members were invariably but puzzlingly accompanied by sombre classical music on the radio and Swan Lake on the telly. But what a man won’t do for the love of Buika? Surely enduring a bit of orchestral noise is a reasonable price for a sheer pleasure to see and hear her live.
This was the first time we went to the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus. I mean inside. It is a beautiful venue, however I wasn’t much impressed by its acoustics. At least from where we were sitting. On this occasion, Buika was supported by Orquesta Sinfónica de Las Palmas conducted by Toni Cuenca, Iván “Melón” Lewis on piano and Ramón Porrina on cajón. It’s a shame that during the first two songs, Mi niña Lola and Nostalgias, Buika’s voice was practically drowned by the orchestra. It got better later though. Either my ear got used to it, or, what’s more plausible, the sound engineer finally found the voice fader. Not that the orchestra was bad; rather the opposite (and you hear that from someone who firmly associates symphonic music with Soviet-style humourless pomposity). I really enjoyed the orchestral work in Throw It Away. But the true magic happened on two or three occasions when, as if to illustrate that, after all, this orchestral grandeur was totally superluous, maestro Cuenca put down his baton and picked up the double bass. Frankly, I did not expect him to be that funky! Concha Buika accompanied by piano trio; just piano; just cajón; cajón and bass; Buika singing and dancing on her own, pure passion and joy. Encores included Que Nadie Sepa Me Sufrir and Siboney. Ahhh... Wish you were there.