this is really going downhill, gig review-wise. didn’t take that many pics at radiohead and this time, after charging two sets of AAA batteries, i left the fockin’ camera in the car. clever chap. so, it’ll be a gambar pinjam for this entry as you can see here.
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i was introduced to rodrigo y gabriela by jimbo. he was raving about this mexican duo playing a kick ass version of metallica’s orion. checked out their myspace.com page and i was well impressed! they’ve got three CD’s out at the mo’: re-foc, live: manchester & dublin and their current self-titled sophomore effort. bought the two studio albums and found their material really refreshing. i preferred their current album as it was more aggressive and the passion felt in the playing was a tad more. so, when i heard they were playing a series of small headlining gigs in england, i grabbed a handful tickets online for the nottingham rescue rooms gig immediately. the opening act was a chap called sam sallon. bloody great voice, reminiscent of both cat stevens and bob dylan, rolled in one. he plays a jumbo-sized taylor and, man, can he fingerpick with his nails! played about five or six tunes, i think (the only title i remembered was god). in typical acoustic singer/songwriter stylee, you get the banter in between songs. sallon was recalling how he was told that he’d be on tour with rod y gab like 3 days before the tour. pity no CD’s of his material was available at the venue (his myspace.com site stated that the CD’s are apparently all sold out!).

rodrigo y gabriela got onstage half an hour later to a thunderous response from the punters. gabriela joked how the leeds audience were more docile than the raucous nottingham one (the leeds gig was all seated). rodrigo handles the melody whilst gabriela does the rest. and when i mean the rest, it felt like she plays the rhythm guitar, bass and drums all at the same time – with a nylon string guitar!

it was brilliant to see how they interweave their heavy metal influence (namely metallica) in between the more traditional flamenco-styled playing. to see tunes seamlessly segue into one another was simply mesmerising. in one quarter of an hour stretch, they played orion followed by the ‘tallica’s one which then segued to take 5 (foc-ing version 9), their adaptation of the dave brubeck quartet’s jazz classic, which had the bridge of one in it.

gabriela was as usual peppering her in-between chats with the endearing fock[sic] word. they would tell the audience of how they went from being in a mexican thrash metal outfit to finally landing a recording deal, recording their debut in dublin, of all places. they played quite a few other tunes from the current album, like juan loco, tamacun and ixtapa, which they played to much aplomb.

for the encore, they played wish you were here after someone in the crowd shouted pink floyd!!!. (some of) us then joined in, singing along with our hearts out. hey, it’s too late now to actually do this at a floyd reunion gig, so this is good enough for me! rodrigo even borrowed a beer bottle for the slide solo! i think they then played diablo rojo (red devil – are they man U fans?) and, finally, stairway to heaven before leaving all of us salivating for more.
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- visit their official site at www.rodgab.com
- read jimbo’s (very similar) rod y gab experience at the camden jazz cafe, london in march 2006 here