Category Archives: Music

All Things Flamenco

Cajones Mario CortesSept. 3 to Sept. 5 2010. Plaza De Agustin Lara and Plaza de la Corrala (Google Maps is not clear on either one of them: please type in Calle Meson de Paredes 66 instead)

The summer of 2010 is far from over. The first Muestra y Exposición Internacional Flamenca (MEIF) is being held this weekend in Lavapiés and provides for yet another series of sultry nights, both for Flamenco lovers and newbies.

Castañuelas, dresses and guitars, shoes and cajones are all there for sale or just for admiration. In case that sounds  a bit too tacky, please note that only the best brands are represented: dancing shoes from Menkes and Gallardo, cajones from Mario Cortés (photo), guitars from Giralda and dresses from Guadalupe. It just does not get any more flamenco than that.

At night the main stage is used for music and dance, but also for workshops with castañuelas,  cajones and guitars. Again, no tourist trap thingies but just how flamenco should be. Keep enjoying  the summer.


There Is a Deer on Róisín’s Shoulders.

Her hats, her sunglasses, her costumes –one for each song-, her dance moves: they are all so very Róisín Murphy. You do not go to her concert to hear the songs of her latest album and sing along. No, you go to see a performance and maybe you will recognize a few tracks of her last 6 albums as well.

The Irish singer performed tonight in Sala Riviera, a smaller venue 80’s style concert hall –palm trees, anyone? – next to Puente de Segovia, and she kicked off with a few songs from her latest album, Overpowered. As always –has she ever done disappointing gigs? – she excelled in just being her own outrageous, original, whacky self: hats that turned out to be faces, a dress with no room to move your arms, gigantesque stoles and finally a blue-and-white chequered jacket that has the shape of a deer, with ditto antlers for a hat. Why? Because it’s Róisín.

Her original dance moves complemented her performance but the best of it all was her voice. Sharp and clear, Róisín clearly is a very strong live performer. She can even do covers and get away with it: she also performed Bryan Ferry’s Slave to Love (for a Gucci commercial, as I see now, and due to come out shortly)

Just too bad that the sound quality in Sala Riviera was below standards. Most nuances were lost and that is just too bad for a voice and for a kind of music that exist thanks to those many nuances. Had you not known most of the songs, you would have asked yourself what all the fuss was about. And finally, the many costume changes slowed down the show’s momentum a bit too much. But let’s just hope she’ll drop by again next year. With her deer.


Seen:  Róisín Murphy, Sala Riviera, November 2, 2008