Down the Docks

February 26, 2007

Los Van Van @ Hammersmith Palais

Filed under: Music, Salsa — ealing @ 12:58 pm

Friday saw the world’s biggest timba band in Hammersmith’s “world-famous” Palais.

When I say ‘biggest’, I could almost be speaking literally – I think there were four vocalists, three trombonists, two violinists, two on keyboards, one conguero and one other drummer, plus flute, bass, and one poor guy on a nearly inaudible güiro. It’s a big band and it produces a big sound.

My personal taste in salsa music leans more towards the Nuyorican than the Cuban, but I still enjoy this music. The tracks were long and loud, the band had amazing energy, and the drinks were overpriced. There was no room to dance, but I had a fantastic time. I was particularly impressed by the four vocalists, and the contrast of their sounds. Also, the only comparable crowd I’d seen in this country for salsa music was when Rubén Blades showed up with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra a couple of years ago – I had no idea there was such a big interest in salsa music in London, even with the number of Latinos here.

Great stuff, and I’m looking forward to Cachao in April.

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