Puerto Flamenco are a company from Seville offering a contemporary but authentic flamenco tradition. Performing only twice in New Zealand on this tour, they delivered 2 hours of incredible energy that left audiences stomping their feet and demanding an encore. On a bare stage the five-strong group gave an emotionally intense, proud and surprisingly intimate performance capturing the duende, or soul, of flamenco. With only the most minimal of accompaniments, Puerto Flamenco served up the passion and unmistakable patterns and tones that mark the genre straight to the audience.
Flamenco is music of the street. Originating in Andalucia, Southern Spain, from a mixture of Romani and local folk traditions it conveys all of the sensation and hardship of life in the raw. In a beautiful paradox, the complex rhythms of flamenco are created with very basic components - guitar, voice, a wooden box for percussion and the sounds of feet and hands against skin or floor. In a jaded world, flamenco offers an integrity and authenticity that no amount of auto tune or twerking will ever match. It's staggering how audacious simplicity can be.
Danced with a proud and upright bearing flamenco conveys emotion and strength, occasionally with a touch of melancholy, but always with attitude. Like another great art form that grew from the street, flamenco trades in the good-natured sparring that characterises old school hip-hop. The group urge and encourage each other, responding to the rhythm issued by the dancer and waiting to take the floor and issue a retort of their own. Flamenco has a posturing and flamboyance characteristic of street sparring, or a Paris catwalk, combined with a super-focused and complete absorption in the dance. It is not so much a presentation of dance, but an unfolding of emotion with the complicity and connection of the audience.
The two dancers the Puerto Flamenco company brought to New Zealand gave breathtaking performances of sensual energy combined with rapid footwork. A female dancer, body tightly held and back arched in the traditional flamenco way, brought grace and fire to the stage with the expressive use of her arms and rhythmic stamping of her feet. She danced with a beautiful fringed mantón, or shawl, which seemed to take on a personality of its own as it whipped around as a weapon one minute then wrapped softly around the dancer's waist the next. The only dancer on stage, her body seemed to give off such shape and rhythm that it filled the space. The second half opened with an extraordinary male dancer who fired out clean, precise footwork with absolute precision. Jack hammering his heels into the wooden floor he created such a wild rhythm that the audience was swept into his spell. At one point, the volatile energy of his performance was distilled into the vibration of a single leg. Completely seduced, the crowd leant forward listening for the final tap of his foot, like junkies for a fix.
After a standing ovation and the audience noisily demanding an encore, the five performers reemerged. Feeling much like an impromptu jam or the flamenco of the streets, the multi-talented Puerto Flamenco company delivered an informal performance swapping roles and dealing out the sass and earthy vitality that makes flamenco an outstanding night out. With the renowned guitarist Paco Pena due to perform his own brand of flamenco in NZ next April, tickets to his show should be high on anyone's Christmas list.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.