Text: Pablo San Nicasio
Miguel Poveda o la Lámpara del Cante
It’s no easy task being the leading star of flamenco, and of Spanish lyrical song to boot; constant trips to Madrid, and then the need to have something new to offer each time. With the added burden of giving all his art and talent in each recital, leaving no song unturned. Being strong, committed and talented. This is what’s called carrying the mantle of cante with panache.
With the thematic backdrop of the 50th anniversary of the Festival del Cante de las Minas, the Catalonian singer landed at the Teatros del Canal with an opening repertoire given over to mining cante, with the irreplaceable backup of his first guitarist and side-kick. The man who accompanied him and helped him lay down the law at contests. Juan Ramón Caro, now a regular with Mayte Martín, together with Chicuelo and Miguel, offered a quarter hour of Murcia styles in tribute to the venerable festival.
Complex singing and guitar-playing, minera, levantica, verdiales murcianos and cartagenera.
A grand opening, not commercially viable, and yet he managed to warm up the audience from the very first moment.
With his regular musicians, the man from Badalona used an hour and a half to sing styles of Cádiz and Triana, passing through some wonderful abandolao and free-form fandangos with nothing to envy in any specialized local singer.
In this performer you sense the universality of his concept of flamenco, and at the same time, his deep respect for the forms and specific aesthetic of each geographical area. It’s best not to talk about Poveda’s flamenco identity. Yesterday we also sensed a more dramatic Miguel Poveda, with stronger body language without going over the top, and an even greater capacity for connecting with the audience.
Even the siguiriya was warmer and richer, without losing a bit of depth and without distracting the diverse audience. He was a bit more concerned about certain “star numbers” of his most recent repertoire than about the basic forms. The songs which put him up where he is now.
There was also room for two of Poveda’s protégées. Two singers who are waiting in the wings to make their names with the help of an artist who knows how to be generous in this way.
Miguel “El Londro” from Jerez, with his record hot off the press, and the adolescent Kiko Peña, from Écija, with his unusual and precocious singing ability. Poveda gave each one his turn last night, and it was really something, a few minutes of bulerías with noteworthy command.
A great day for flamenco singing. Everything came together. The Madrid evening was full of glamour, actors and acresses, the jet set, everyone came out to see a sure thing. It was a far cry from the crusty members of a jury that awards the Lámpara Minera. And even so, Poveda continues to come out on top in every category. Effortlessly.