Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Hombres pa'l Cafe
So just as well the last Pupy concert I saw was such a blast, because it’s more than likely to be the last Pupy concert I will see. As many of you reading probably know by now, singer Pepito and trompetista Chocolate are no longer with the group. They could have played without Chocolate, but it would have been pretty difficult to play without Pepito, and so today’s gig at Miramar was cancelled and also the matinee at La Tropical, which was planned for this Sunday (damn you Pepito!), I discovered once Duni had got out of bed this afternoon. (Charanga Latina took their place at Miramar.)
But the bigger problems for Pupy are: finding a replacement for the imminent tour of Europe, and what to do about the CD, which was ready for release and features Pepito on half of the songs.
For the first, he is considering two singers that I know of (and possibly more that I don't), but I'll wait until I have something solid before I report further.
The suspended concert left a hole in my schedule, so I decided to go and see Combinación de la Habana, who have some pleasant enough salsa songs on rotation on Disco Fiesta.
The band had already started and Cafe Cantante was jumping when I arrived at 7.15, but I don’t think Pupy’s cancelled concert had much to do with it - it didn’t really seem like his crowd. The average age seemed to be about 15 - for the chicas anyway. (I’m not exaggerating - there was even a girl in her school uniform.)
The songs on the radio are of the timba/salsa variety, but the 14-piece also plays a bit of salsaton (a bit too much for me) and a bit of timba lite (always too much for me). But the harmonies were good, though the undernourished metales (two trumpets, one trombone) were out of tune for most of the set.
They lost me for a while with a coro that was a response to Tanya and Bamboleo’s La que manda soy yo that went: los hombres pa’ la calle y las mujeres pa' la casa. That might have been slightly amusing if it weren’t actually a reality here. The girls didn’t care - they were despeloteando like mad. I suppose they don’t need to worry about that yet - that’s all in their future.
When they did a Charanga Habanera-style pop salsa thing, I started to get bored, but they followed it up with a version of Michel Maza’s El loco de la mata del coco. The lead sang it well but the musos struggled, and the song lumbered, unlike the original which fairly canters.
They’re young - “undercooked” - is how MFF described them as we walked across the Plaza de la Revolución to get a taxi. But right now, they’re working hard and seem to have found a place in the scene. They’ll keep it if the girls don’t leave them behind when they grow up.
Posted by Yemaya at 12:03 am