Contemporary Flamenco


Bar Me – Live Review


Bar Me



In the middle of a horrendous week, sometimes the best course of action is to simply spend an evening transfixed by pleasure. So when the arms of your lover are unavailable, music is often the next best option, and thus I found myself soothed and cosseted at the Arrebato show.

Tucked away in the cosy basement of a bar down a Kings Cross side street, Arrebato somehow managed to fit six musicians and all of their instruments onto a tiny stage where the prime real estate belongs to a baby grand. Throughout the two-set show the audience was treated to music that evoked sultry days, dark nights, stormy passions and deep longing. The band successfully meld traditional rhythms and strictly adhered to forms with contemporary influences. It is this blend that allows for adventure and invention in harmonies and improvised solos.

“Before I got into flamenco I wanted to be Leonard Cohen,” said guitarist vocalist Greg Alfonzetti. And I believe him if his soleas with guest vocalist Raphael are anything to go by. Solea is the melancholy personification of what you imagine flamenco to be; long heartfelt vocal rhythms and sustains……………

Zapateado, with its laid-back, lazy summery feel evokeed afternoons spent lingering over along lunch on a grassy hill under shady trees. It sits comfortably alongside darker works like Noches, a layered, textured stormy number with a percussive staccato opener. This builds steadily until the sax kicks in with a hint of the Moorish influence that threads through flamenco rhythms. While the drummer played his kit as though he’s playing tablas and an extended jazz/funk infused middle section moves in a different direction it’s as if there are three distinct acts within the song.

Another facet of the art form came to life literally when guest artist, Adriana Rodriguez swaped palmas for dance. Her performance was a study of strength, control, intimacy, challenge and elegance. All too soon the show is over and it’s back to clutch of cold, stark reality – and a new found determination to enrol in dance class tomorrow.

Fiona Cameron

Drum Media


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