Sunday, May 28, 2006
Pupy/Maravillas de Florida/Trabuco
Saw Pupy at Teatro America, this bomby old deco theatre next door to Casa de la Musica on Galiano. Full of Cubans - 8 pesos for them I think; $5 for us. There were vendors with old-school trays hung around their shoulders selling bags of popcorn. It was all so cute. The stage is like a giant clam shell - kinda like the title screen for Looney tunes but with a chunk bitten out of it. Although it was a sit down gig; it was great. Best sound I've heard with them so far - you could actually hear the brass. Amazing. They started with and were accompanied by dancing girls in flimsy lilac chiffon; then they left (yay) and the band got down to business. Mostly same songs as the other gigs but withoutQue Cosas Tiene la Vida Buena Gente, and instead - que bueno! - Del Trabajo a la Casa. Oh my god I nearly fucking died. I love that song. Pepe did a great job - it's so soulful; but the crowd didn't get into like the other songs. Bah! What do they know?
All the singers were wearing suits and kept the jackets on the whole show - they must have been dying. I think I lost about 5 kg at that gig alone. No air con; sweat pouring off. Lotsa dancing in the seat - standing up of course. It was a really great experience. When Pupy did the solo in La Bomba Soy Yo the crowd went off, which was nice. It was a good solo; despite what some peeps say about him not being able to solo for shit.
Really worth the effort - heaps different to the Casa de la Musica gigs. Great stuff.
I went back to my casa and got a taxi out to Miramar for Manolito. The guy out the front said: Do you want to come in? I said, uh, yeah. He said it's full (and made that hand movement they make; like they're jiggling a handful of grapes). But it wasn't actually closed so I don't really know what he was wanking on about. It was busy; but not super busy. I remember a Pupy matinee in 04 that was so packed you could hardly move. This was still civilised. Just no tables left. I went and stood by the stagedoor, looking for Yoko who wasn't there yet. Trabuco flautista David Bencomo was behind me talking to someone and when I said hello he introduced me to her - the flautista from Maravillas de Florida. He then introduced me to several other members and it turned out that they were playing before Trabuco (they hadn't been on the bill). It also turned out that a Bahamaian jazz band was playing before them, so ... long night. Fortunately the chaps from Trabuco were entertaining and Maravillas were really good. Really cool to see, in place of the horn section, a line of strings. And they have a great chunky sound, unike other charanga orquestas. It's basically timba, without horns. If that's allowable under the timba-geek charter of 2004.
Gratuitous Mayami reference appearing now: It was his birthday - 30, according to Bencomo - he looks like such a little slip of a lad. And OK, he looked hot (there; that's out of the way).
Trabuco came on about 2:45am. They started with Marcando la Distancia and it was sensational. Unexpected and sensational. El Indio was in super-top form. Yoko had arrived and I was standing next to her down the front, dancing. Next up: I think it was Guiro, Calabaza y Miel, which, frankly, was a dog's breakfast: Amaray forgot all the words to the first verse and just sang the bridge three times, which wasn't really a good fit. Mayami was dancing behind him, trying not to look perturbed and eventually El Indio tried to help him out but it never really got back on track - it was as if he'd put everyone else out of wack too. Couldn't hear the 'bones either. The whole Trabuco set was a bit disappointing - it was really short, cause they went on so late - the curtain came down at 3.50 and they'd only really done half a dozen songs, including Sacude la Mata and Comunicate and Locos. And actually I think that was it. The violinist handed over to one of the Maravillas violinsts after about the second song - and never came back. I saw the cellist ask him a question; that looked like "Where's whatsisname?" The Maravillas guy shrugged. He was in it for the long haul now. It was that kind of night: totally chaotic and very Habanera. People were swapping instruments all over the place - Amaray played Manolito's keyboard; Mayami ended up plucking the cello. Pretty funny really.
Los Van Van had played the Saturday Macumba matinee and Yeni and Lele were apparently there, and during one his songs Mayami mentioned los que Son Son too, but I didn't see any of them. Probably cause I was down the front dancing like an idiot.
An American guy came and talked to Yoko and I after and said we should go and see Interactivo tomorrow - he'd been at rehearsals all week and they were sounding hot, he said. I said, um, I have Maravillas at 5pm and PFG after that (hopefully).
We got shooed outside, where everyone was hanging around in the hot night, and got into a taxi.
© Gabriel Wilder 2006
Posted by Yemaya at 4:16 pm