XV BIENAL DE FLAMENCO DE SEVILLA
‘ROCK Y FLAMENCO’
Cai, Imán, Guadalquivir, Tabletom, Alameda, Pata Negra…
Auditorio Rocío Jurado – 23:00 horas
Text: Gonzalo Montaño Peña
Lole Montoya, “Cai”, “Guadalquivir”, “Tabletom”, “Imán Califato Independiente”, “Alameda”, “Pata Negra”, “Smash” guest artist Manuel Molina, special collaboration, Eduardo Rodríguez Rodway.
The Rocío Jurado Auditorium didn’t fill up, perhaps only three quarters full, for a night of nostalgia for an era for many of us, who, although a little younger, grew up listening to this music which forms part of the recent history of Andalucía.
These groups were able to identify musical tendencies that were circulating in their world, adding an Andalusian flavor. The resulting recipe was a mixture of different sounds: funk, psychedelic, melodic rock and symphonic music, with an exotic flamenco spin led to a unique genre which, in most cases, cannot be called flamenco, but had a decisive effect on the evolution of flamenco.
The first was Lole Montoya, one of the icons of this movement, with her partner Manuel Molina, with whom she trumpeted hippie love and a return to nature as a way of life, via tangos and bulerías with poetic verses. She was one of the few who actually added flamenco to this movement.
Next up was Rafael Amador, a member of the group “Pata Negra”, along with his brother Raimundo, who together broke many barriers with music that had a political pro gypsy message, and a special way of playing guitar. One of the most representative records of this era was their “Guitarras Callejeras”. Rafael was dressed elegantly to interpret classics like “Todo lo que me Gusta es IIegal”, “Blues de los Niños” and “Patapalo”.
“Cai”, the group which initially included pianist Chano Domínguez, and their so-called “symphonic rock”, and “Guadalquivir”, two legendary groups who based their quest on psychedelic sounds, and like many groups circulating in Europe at the time, found inspiration in India.
One of the most relevant groups in the history of Andalusian rock is, without a doubt, “Alameda”. Some of their themes have become modern Andalusian anthems, such as their “Noche Andaluza”. One moving moment was when Eduardo Rodríguez Rodway, sole survivor of the group “Triana”, joined in for the song “Tu Frialdad” in a tribute to the group that set standards for this genre.
From Málaga came one of the most personal groups of the era, “Tabletom”, a joining of musicians with a very good level, that included the voice of Roberto Tabletom. A very unusual character, more than sing, he seemed to shout or even bark, and never holding anything back – for me, and many others, this is one of my favorite groups within this style. They played “Me Estoy Quitando”, and got the audience dancing, although the amplification system left a lot to be desired.
With influences that move between Arabic scales, progressive rock and some flamenco rhythms, comes the group “Imán Califato Independiente”. Led by Manuel Imán with instrumentals, for many, this was the Andalusian version of “Pink Floyd”.
At this point, at past three in the morning, “Smash” came on stage, pioneers of the underground Andalusian movement. Led originally by the late Julio Matito, they opened doors in the nineteen-sixties for the rest of the local groups. Theirs was one of the most awaited performances of the night. Their sound, influenced by the Beatles, would be greatly enriched by the flamenco presence of Manuel Molina. They did a sort of Bob Dylan thing to bulerías compás, and interpreted their revolutionary “Garrotín”.
And so ended this gala night which paid tribute to the now prehistoric “Rock Andaluz”, and of course to the many legendary musicians of this music whom we lost along the way, such as Silvio, Julio Matito, Jesús de la Rosa… Here’s to them….