ThU 1 JUNE
Manchester, The Soup Kitchen
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Manchester, The Soup Kitchen
Snaith, Out To Lunch Festival
Euston, Red Rooster Festival
Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete's
Brighton, Sticky Mikes
Exeter, The Phoenix
Don't be afraid.
The ghosts and demons of Andalusia are well known. The spirits of long-gone saints and sinners drift through the air, slam doors, rattle chains, and sing their songs to the living.
The romance of España profunda is legend. This is where the world's greatest lover, Don Juan, was dragged to hell by the dead father of the girl he seduced.
And the music. There is magic there, too.
The legend of Andalusia must now include GUADALUPE PLATA, three men who create a sound as timeless as flamenco and as potent as rock'n'roll, as haunted as the Mississippi blues, as alluring as forbidden sex, as dangerous as a knife fight.
The strains of their guitars are dreamlike and electric, three men creating mojo and duende with primitive instruments, summoning the ancient spirits, and conjuring the mystical powers of the Saints.
Their new record GUADALUPE PLATA is a revelation, a testimony: GUADAPLUE PLATA is at once perfect for séances, exorcisms, and all night parties. This is the dangerous sound of seduction.
The decision to record near their homes in Andalusia, in a recording studio in Seville, where the spirits fill the wind, has helped make this the most enchanting Guadalupe Plata record yet – but this is not a departure, it is a coming home.
Everything that has earned then their reputation as a true force is present on this, their fourth long-laying record – the howling, the crooning, the Spaghetti Western guitars, the irresistible hooks, the sweat and dirty sex of real blues that only comes by playing hundreds of gigs across the years, in churches, in bordellos, in whisky bars, anywhere there are people searching for the unattainable – but there is still more.
GUADALUPE PLATA opens with the unexpected, a folk ballad that arrives like a voice from another world. Que ha sacado con quererte – the lamento mapuche by Violeta de Parra, the famed Chilean singer who died by her own hand with a bullet to the head in 1967 – is resurrected with Guadalupe Plata's famous desert twang, built upon and a hypnotic tribal rhythm, as mind expanding as it is heartbreaking.
From the psychedelic boogie of MIEDO, to the slashing Capt. Beefeheart-like guitars of BORRACHO, Guadalupe Plata seduces the souls of every music lover to be part of their dark and dangerous landscape, to drink and cry, to watch the moon descend and the sun rise.
NAVAJAZZO is a surfadelico retelling of John Coltrane's A LOVE SUPREME channeled through Ennio Morricone. NIDO DE AVISPOS cooks and ALMERIA simmers, but both are pure strains of Andalusian madness and beauty. Across ten songs, Guadalupe Plata resurrect demons, saints, lovers, and libertines. There is nobility, and an edge that cuts like a razor. This is not music for children.
GUADALUPE PLATA have proven once again that Andalucia is a breeding ground for rock'n'roll voodoo as powerful as anywhere in the world. Don't be afraid dance.
"Our name comes from our hometown's patron, the Virgin of Guadalupe – she protects us as we play the devil's music," say the members of Guadalupe Plata, with not a little bit of hopefulness.
Rising up from the town of Úbeda, deep in Andalusia near Jaén, Guadalupe Plata have become legends for their provocative, deeply affecting blues and boogie music, creating a psychedelic landscape that is as darkly surrealistic as it is infectious.
Guadalupe Plata – Pedro de Dios (guitar and voice), Carlos Jimena (drums), and Paco Luis Martos (bass, contrabalde, and guitar) – have met wide success with a string of recordings and constant touring in Spain and Portugal where they have become well known stars, even as they continue to play every sort of venue imaginable, from backyards to bordellos, giant music festivals, dirty bars, and extravagant night clubs.
This is a no nonsense band, famous for their stripped-down sound and primitive equipment, most notably a washtub bass built with parts taken from the local graveyard and a chainsaw. The polished austerity of Andalusia shines ever so minimally, even in the names of their albums, every one which is called Guadalupe Plata, but known to fans by the year, the colour or the image on the record sleeve. This new record will probably come to be known as "the pekinese album".
Their performance is a beguiling, bewitching thing, possessed by the sense of space, sex and the magic of the night which belongs to rock'n'roll and to much of the most nagging folk art.; a pounding sound, with its curious mythology centred around dogs, the devil, Christ, rats, black snakes and cats, where all the lovers are Frankie and Johnny, and which seems to co-opt blues, bebop or rockabilly as structure to an Andalucian tradition which already straddles romany, sephardic and moorish strains
Guadalupe Plata's music will suggest, to anglophone ears, the raw edges of Hound Dog Taylor, Skip James, and John Lee Hooker, the insanity of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the winding guitars of Elmore James and Ennio Morricone, the delirious psychedelic acercamiento to the blues of Canned Heat or The Doors, and the post-modern madness of Jon Spencer, The Fall, Captain Beefheart, and the Gun Club.
Like the flamenco players they watched growing up, they describe their process as "training to be podrío" – to be rotten – and speak of "duende," and "hechizo" – literally demons and spells. But the results are uniquely their own: "Our music inhabits that place in our collective imagination where the demonic force straddles the blues and cante jondo," they say. Mojo magazine has called them "culturally rich and instantly identifiable as excellent."
In 2014 GUADALUPE PLATA began their trophy collection, picking up the coveted Impala Award for Best European Rock Album, as well as Artist of the Year, Best Live Act, and Best Rock Album from the Independent Music Awards, as well as Best Modern Music from Critical Eye. Their music has seeped into the American consciousness on such television shows as Showtime's Shameless and HBOs How to Make it in America.
GUADALUPE PLATA continue to tour relentlessly, both internationally and in their own very special part of the world. Their new record, GUADALUPE PLATA, is available in the UK on 2nd June.