By: Lee Allcock
The Band: Guadalupe Plata
Bringing some rock ’n’ roll voodoo from Spain to Newcastle this month are Guadalupe Plata who play The Cluny, Newcastle on Monday 5th June.
Lee Allcock caught up with the band to talk about Spaghetti Westerns, playing across the world, and returning to the North East.
Lee: You hail from Ubeda, a town better known as the backdrop to many a Spaghetti Western movie. It must have had a great influence on the music you produce?
Guadalupe: There's a clear cinematic influence on the music: those spaghetti Westerns, film noir from the 40s and 50s (we were listening to Duke Ellington's "Anatomy of a Murder" a lot during the recording, and ‘Ascenseur pour L'Echafaud’). And it's true that the place we come from is there in the music we make - the drums of holy week, the chains, all that mix of cultures in Andalucía, it has to come out in the music we make.
Lee: You recorded your new self-titled album near your home in Andalusia...what was the thinking behind that? And were there any advantages and disadvantages to recording in Andalusia rather than in the UK or America, for example?
Guadalupe: We recorded the last two albums in Austin and in London. When you're away from home and on a budget you have to record quickly, one take, maybe work all night mixing, and get the thing made in two days or three. With this album, we had more time and we went in three different visits. And, we were working with Raúl Perez, so we were working in our language, living in the studio, recording in our pyjamas, and having a bit more time to work out the songs, what worked and what didn't. (laughing) The food's better as well.
Lee: Can you tell our readers and your fans a little bit more about what to expect from the new record...
Guadalupe: We've covered a song by Violeta Parra. Violeta was a Chilean singer-songwriter, folk historian and political activist wrote scores of great songs - this is a song about lost love in the style of a mapuche lament. Pedro heard it in Chile and had to cover it as it's got the blues in it. And there's a song with the most words Pedro's ever written, it’s rockabilly, and it has quite a few instrumentals.
Lee: You've played right across the globe in churches, in bordellos and in whisky bars…so what has been your favourite gig to date and why?
Guadalupe: There was a show we did in Brazil in Recife during carnival. Brazil has an amazingly rich musical culture and history and we weren't expecting them to respond the way they did to something that's quite distinct. There must have been about 5 or 6,000 people there, and it was a great experience. So was the first time we played the UK, in New Cross, in South London. You expect the English to be a bit more reserved, but there were people dancing on tables and stage diving.
Lee: What exactly can gig-goers expect at a Guadalupe Plata gig?
Guadalupe: The audience is very important to us. It's like an "Aquelarre" as we say in Spanish - a witches' gathering. We all feed off each other, it's a kind of communion.
Lee: You played the Cluny back in September, so what was your favourite thing about playing in the region?
Guadalupe: The promoter was great and so was the public. It was our last show of the tour with our Irish brothers, the Bonnevilles so it was a party. The people there are really engaged, and warm. And it's like the Andalucía of England, I think, even down to the way people from outside the region have trouble understanding the accents - that happens to us as well!
Tickets, priced at Ł8.00, are available from thecluny.com.
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