If the Spanish town of Ubeda had its own rogues gallery honouring the misfits and outlaws whose boots had scuffed its dusty ground, three ‘Wanted’ posters would surely hang; a trio of mug shots simply referred to as ‘Guadalupe Plata’ – the most deathly delta blues outfit to ever emerge from Andalusia.
“Our name comes from our hometown’s patron, the virgin of Guadalupe, so she protects us as we play the devil’s music,” they say. “Our music inhabits that place in our collective imagination where the demonic force straddles the blues and cante jondo.”
Make no mistake – the music of Guadalupe Plata derives from the murkiest of depths and the magic of the night. Channelling red hot passion for the blues into Hispanic roots, theirs is a sound that lingers in the sunset like a voodoo curse. Using flamenco terms, they describe their process as straining to be podrío; to be rotten, and talk of “involution,” “duende,” and “hechizo” – supernatural terms of invocation, and, well, goblins. But then again, that’s what you’d expect – concocted in a town famed as a location for Spaghetti Westerns, the band’s unique blues sits like a cowboy soundtrack pulled from a zombie’s grasp by the Mississippi Blues greats, Os Mutantes, and Jon Spencer.
A band for which convention is a dirty word, it is only right that irregular methods create their distinctive tribal sound. Whether hammering out a rhythm on a handcrafted cigar box, a whisky bottle and old cans of coffee late at night, or combining traditional blues guitar riffs and jazz drumming with an electrified wash tub; their own take on the 19th century style instrument consisting a zinc basin sound box and a chainsaw starter rope. Let Guadalupe Plata take you on one hell of a psychedelic trip when they hit our shores for their first ever UK tour in support of their latest s/t album released earlier this year on Everlasting.
Guyadalupe Plata perform at Manchester’s The Castle on 15 September 2016.