review of concert in Torrevieja 18th Sept 2010

 It is commonly believed that English and Spanish cultures have little in common. The best concerts I have attended in Ely, especially those in Ely Cathedral, have inspired tremendous awe and magnetic attraction. As a member of the audience I have always felt a sense of communal wonder when the best soloists’ voices have filled the Cathedral with their beautiful powerful sounds and potently integrated rhythm.

I attended a concert (11 Festival de la Copla) in Torrevieja in Spain last night and I experienced that same sense of joyous recognition of the best in music. This time it was singer Paquito Sanchez who caught my attention. He entered the stage with his guitarist and they both sat down. My expectations were not high.

Then the guitarist struck the first chords. The music was fired with spirit and excitement. Paquito sang the first notes of ‘Servillana a Untrera’ and I was captivated. His strong passionate melodies, his lengthy emotional embellishments and his restrained but essential soft or percussive clapping integrated superbly with the guitarist. Charisma and grace mixed with vital exuberance and a real empathy for the soul of the music, captivated the audience immediately. The listeners were not the silent, transfixed, awe-inspired ones of the Cathedral; this packed hall punctuated the music with ‘Olé’, ‘bueno’ and spontaneous clapping that lifted the spirits akin to the last night of the Proms.

We may differ in many things, but in appreciating the finest things of life, I sincerely believe we are of one mind.

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