It’s hotter than hell in The Castle. The gig’s sold out and there’s barely any room to move. People are even being turned away at the door. The atmosphere is electric and there’s a decided buzz in the air (and it’s not from the air-con which is doing its best to cool the room down).
The trio make their way on to the stage in a low-key manner, setting up quietly before launching full throttle into the show. What follows is a set filled with dirty psychedelic riffs, blues, perfect amount of haze and feedback, a hint of jazz and rock, all with a beautiful Hispanic twist.
Guadalupe Plata themselves describe their sound as ‘the devil’s music’. In truth it wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarentino or Robert Rodriguez movie – in fact listening to them perform invokes images of From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado.
Their set is heavy on instrumentals. Pedro de Dios Barceló does add some vocals (and impressively so at times) in between his outstanding guitar work, but it’s the overall musical effect which is the key to the performance. Sonicly and musically it’s excellent and there’s an urgency to their sound which drags the crowd along, whipping them up, really helping the hundred or so who have packed in to the room to completely immerse themselves in the set.
Talking between songs is most certainly at a premium – the occasional ‘thank you’ is pretty much all that is mustered. But this simply adds to the mystique.
It’s not long in to the set before Paco Luis Martos has the washbasin bass out. It’s a peculiar sight but it fits right in, not coming across as gimmicky he plays it will as he does the guitar and bass, despite having his thumb strapped up, looking completely relaxed at all times. In the sweltering heat, he’s probably the coolest person in the room. Meanwhile drummer Carlos Jimena, who is certainly putting a heavy shift in, is dabbing the sweat from his forehead.
The energy of the trio is phenomenal as they work at breakneck speed through the set. Even when a string on Barceló’s guitar breaks, he quickly sets about replacing it, with no fuss, changing it in no time.
The crowd are lapping it up. They’re dancing at the front of the room, nodding away towards the back. There’s the odd Spanish holiday phrase shouted out in jest.
If this is the devil’s music, then let’s all be damned.