Cooltural Fest hangs the “sold out” with the festive farewells of Izal and Rigoberta Bandini.

Cooltural Fest hangs the sold out with the festive farewells of Izal and Rigoberta Bandini
As a surprise, Lori Meyers was announced as the first confirmation for the 2023 edition.

Strong emotions were experienced last night on the second big day of Cooltural Fest, the festival organised by the Department of Culture and Education of the City Council of Almería and Crash Music. Two stellar concerts by two names that are going to give themselves indefinite time as the band Izal and Rigoberta Bandini, a group as solid and contrasted as Sexy Zebras, the brilliant emerging value of Guitarricadelafuente, the joyful experience of Tu Otra Bonita, the meteoric journey of Arde Bogotá and the style on the decks of Innmir on the main stage, with luxury escorts on the second stage such as El Último Viaje, Confeti De Odio, Judeline, Habla De Mí En Presente, Karavana and Rocío Saiz. As if that wasn’t enough, the ‘sold out’ sign was hung before the Izal concert and the first of the confirmations for 2023 was announced, which was received with cheers and chants from the ‘coolters’: Lori Meyers.

Rigoberta Bandini, added music and character to Saturday night.

With this background, Cooltural Fest’s ‘second of the season’ raised the curtain at six in the evening with the festive and dynamic rumba of Tu Otra Bonita. A band much appreciated by the public, and also particularly by the Almeria festival, since they performed on the Paseo de Almería stage in the second edition, which took advantage of the freshness of the first attendees to make them dance and laugh in a concert developed at full speed in order to sing along as much as possible. El Camello Del Barrio’ and ‘Guapa’ were the songs that opened the session, which gradually accelerated with a touch that was also ‘combative’ about musical labels with the accurate ‘Alfombra Roja’ and ‘Robo’. The remembrance of Ray Heredia in ‘Alegría De Vivir’ was emotional and there was no shortage of memories of fellow musicians in style and manners, such as El Canijo de Jerez and Juanito Makandé. This, added to his clear descent from the rogue Kiko Veneno make his music an infallible cocktail, ending ‘El Conjuro’ with ‘Alitas De Mar’ like ‘Locos De Amor’. The cherry on top, with the celebrated coven of ‘Se Quemó’.

From the profusion of Spanish guitars strumming at full speed, to the three electric guitars of Arde Bogotá, who maintain a meteoric trajectory with just a few singles and a first LP, conceptual, more full and natural in rock with indie touches than vice versa. Very corporeal guitars, forceful punch, and some melodic concessions in a repertoire that started furiously with the cultural references of ‘Dangerous’ and with ‘Cariño’ and ‘A Lo Oscuro’. With Antonio García on deep, dense vocals, as captain of the ship of a perfectly oiled machine, the Cartagena band claimed union in ‘Millenial’, exploited the ‘Big Band’, declaimed that ‘Quiero Casarme Contigo’, faced their ‘Virtud y Castigo’ and warned with ‘Te Van A Hacer Cambiar’. As a respite before the final double whammy, ‘Exoplaneta’ explored the shoegaze that also lurks among their influences, to end on a high note with ‘Antiaéreo’ and ‘Abajo’, with a symphony of guitars and outstanding forcefulness.

From the roar to the calm and lyrical preciosity of Guitarricadelafuente. The very young artist with Aragonese roots, a viral phenomenon since before the pandemic and long before having released his first album due to the particularity of his vocal tessitura and the sensitivity of his lyrics, bravely appeared at a festival of a festive nature with a proposal that requires listening, appreciation of detail, of the most concentrated emotion. In fact, there was a proliferation of tears of emotion among the audience. Despite the fact that large spaces are not the most suitable for this, the truth is that he demonstrated a remarkable confidence behind his apparent shyness. He opened with ‘Amanita’, ‘Ya Mi Mamá Me Decía’, ‘Redondico’ and ‘La Filipina’, songs from his album ‘La Cantera’. The Andalusian plazuela airs and his fondness for Latin American folklore are also in dialogue with touches and taste of the eighties. For its part, ‘Caballito’ is also reminiscent of Manu Chao’s ‘clandestine’ music, enlivening a second block where ‘Conticinio’, ‘ABC’ and ‘Mil y Una Noches’ also stand out. For the end, the delight of ‘Agua y Mezcal’, to finish, after another series of songs from the last album, such as ‘A Carta Cabal’ or ‘A Mi Manera’ with the celebrated ‘Guantanamera’.

Izal and Rigoberta Bandini, festive farewells

As well as being the two headliners on Saturday, Izal and Rigoberta Bandini share in this 2022 tour that both are farewells. The former indefinitely before their vocalist Mikel delves into his solo search, the latter to ‘clean up’ his mind after the maelstrom of popularity he has been experiencing since he landed on his feet in the music world, multiplied by his appearance at Benidorm Fest with his ‘Ay, Mamá’.

With that bittersweet point of celebrating their farewell, Izal started solemnly and retrospectively with ‘Fotografías’, making a generous review of their entire discography, in an attempt to congratulate the fans of all their eras. So much so that Mikel himself wanted to remember that “every time we come here I remember that we were three times in the small Madchester hall, who was there? El Pozo’, ‘Asuntos Delicados’, ‘Prologue’ and the dynamic intensity of ‘Copacabana’ were the protagonists of a first section that didn’t leave out the song to fatherhood that is ‘Pequeña Gran Revolución’. Colours, effects, images on the gigantic screen accompanied a very measured performance, controlling the ‘Inertia’ of ‘Practical Panic’ as if it were ‘Autotherapy’. For the second block, after the old ‘Magic and Special Effects’, came ‘Bill Murray’ and the preparation of the irremediable goodbye. “We’re not going to do encores and we’re not going to leave to come back, but the concert does have several farewells”, he said. It was precisely ‘Despedida’ that was the first of them, before celebrating ‘El Baile’. The second was the powerful ‘Pausa’. As a final surprise, ‘Qué Bien’ was performed in the audience to say goodbye definitively with ‘La Mujer De Verde’.

There was no room for nostalgia with Rigoberta Bandini who, with all her usual chorus and dance team, especially outstanding Belén Barenys, turned the main venue of Cooltural Fest into a big disco dancefloor with her songs between the naive, the ironic, the vindictive and the critical. In Spain We Call It Soledad’, one of the most eagerly awaited tracks, opened the ‘Fiesta’, which would have another high point with that reprise entitled ‘Génesis’ from ‘Ay Mamá’. The most relaxed moment was the surreal ‘The Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Poem’, a transition to the fun version of Mocedades, ‘Cuando Tu Nazcas’, which made special sense with Barenys’ obvious pregnancy, or Massiel and ‘La, La, La, La’, between which they would intersperse ‘A Ver Qué Pasa’ and ‘Julio Iglesias’. After ‘A Todos Mis Amantes’ and ‘Que Cristo Baje’, came the final hit with ‘Perra’ and its crazy choreography, ‘Ay Mamá’ in its explosive original version and ‘Así Bailaba’, a song born from a collaboration with Amaia, in which they gave a twist to the song of the days of the week of the TV clowns. Too Many Drugs’ acted as a kind of outro to come down from the previous high.

From the rock cradle of the Hortaleza neighbourhood, although Sexy Zebras try to rework their music with some of the more modern clichés that have brought them to a wider audience, they have always had that urban and visceral touch that also allows them to play at indie and hard rock festivals alike. The trio, which still has its founders Gabriel Montes (bass and vocals) and José Javier Luna on guitar, and which incorporated the latter’s brother, Jesús, after the departure of drummer Samuel Torío, returns to the neighbourhood in ‘Calle Liberación’, their latest album, to rediscover many of their initial elements and to add a good dose of sincerity and viscerality, more personal than impostor, to their cheekiness. The rawness of provocative titles like ‘Jaleo’, ‘El Semental’, ‘Canción De Mierda’ or ‘Quiero Follar Contigo’ are a declaration of intentions and the classic tertiary code of rock and roll. Pure and raw, with a lot of distortion, strong bases and an even more genuine sound palette, Sexy Zebras fulfilled their mission to bite the Cooltural Fest stage, with inspired moments such as the brilliant and recent ‘Amanecer Galáctico’, ‘Una Canción Para Resucitar’ or ‘Tonterías’.

The main stage would close on Saturday with the same electronic philosophy as on Friday. If then it was Delaporte, this time it would be with dj Innmir, who in addition to sharing his most recent remix productions made for ElyElla and Varry Brava, deployed in his session a mix of sounds that went from indie to dance, from electronic to rock, with a festive spirit that left a good taste in the mouth in the last hour of Cooltural Fest.

Second stage

The Chileans El Último Viaje were in charge of opening the second stage of the main venue in the afternoon, giving continuity to the presence of the Latin American country in the festival, since on Friday four other artists (I.O., Diego Lorenzini, Juani Mustard and Fernanda Arrau) performed in the Villa Pepita square in El Zapillo. Formed in 2012, El Último Viaje has three studio albums: ‘Recuerdos’, ‘Todo Vuelve A Empezar’ and ‘Migra’, as well as their new single ‘Sueños Salvajes’, which kicked off the ‘Sueños Salvajes 2022 Tour’ with dates in Peru alongside Autobús, Fármacos, 1915, El Zar, Gativideo, among others. They have also shared the stage with other big names in Chilean music such as We Are The Grand, Cler Canifrú, Fármacos, La Rue Morgue, Fernando Milagros and Portugal.

Confeti de Odio is the pop project of Madrid-born Lucas Vidaur, a twenty-something who speaks from the most heartbreaking and self-conscious side of his being and with musically carefree makings addresses with his lyrics more intimate and contradictory feelings for ‘down’ days. The experience accumulated in bands like Verano, Sant Clementine, Axolotes Mexicanos is a degree and that’s why their live performance was convincing both in the quiet (‘Hoy Será Un Día Horrible’) and in the faster and more rhythmic (‘Todas Las Guillotinas Van Al Cielo’).

With the variety that characterises the festival and the alternative stage in particular, the third name to make an appearance was Judeline. An artist from Cadiz, barely 19 years old, who from her artistic independence moves between bedroom pop, funk, soul, urban music and slow electronic nods, and whose fame multiplied when Rosalía included her in the playlist of songs by other artists that she listened to while she was shaping her ‘Motomami’. An atmosphere achieved with tracks like ‘Marisucia’, ‘Trafalgar’ or the more flamenco ‘Otro Lugar’. A languid and meandering suggestion as in ‘La Pestaña Que Soplé’ or ‘Fanática De Lo Sensual’. The end would come with ‘En El Cielo’ and ‘Sustancia’.

Habla De Mí En Presente is an indie music collective born to party from consciousness. Influenced by the techno scene in Berlin, the city where the group was born, the musicians called their lifestyle, perhaps even more than their music, technorumba, which doesn’t stop them from using violin and all kinds of sounds. Between tradition and modernity, as they always say about gastronomy, their main ambition is to make people dance and they certainly succeeded. Vivir Más’ is their latest album, and it formed the basis of their concert, with singles like the Catalan rumba sound of ‘Dímelo’, or ‘Fa Calor’, ‘KSA’ or ‘Vola’.

Self-defined as “dirty guitars and cheesy lyrics”, Karavana recovered the guitar sound in the fifth of the six concerts, with a kind of power pop that also shines in the flashes of surfing indebted to Airbag and other similar references, but also with a point of noise and fury that brings them closer to other international groups like The Strokes, who, in fact, they take their name from to title the song with which they close their concerts. Before that, they opened with ‘Muertos En La Disco’, ‘Illo’ and ‘Pienso’. Qué Bien’, ‘Resaca Pop’ and ‘Hoy’ also kept up the standard, to close with ‘Madrid’, ‘Qué Putada’ and that ironic dart at the fashionable sounds of ‘Strokes’.

Fulfilling an intense festival agenda this summer (Pride BCN, Mallorca Live, Vida Festival, Zorrilla’s Fest, Mad Cool, Atlantic Fest, Santander Music Festival, Sonorama Ribera…), Rocío Saiz was in charge of giving the finishing touch to the stage, going beyond her classic dance music, performing with a band and always with a strong dose of activism and vindication, like the one she did by taking off her T-shirt in the audience with a rainbow flag. The singer of bands like Monterrosa or Las Chillers, sang “songs full of memories” like ‘Si Mañana Me Muero, Te Habré Dicho Que Te Quiero’, ‘Cortisol En Sangre’ or ‘Autocensura’, from her full-length ‘Amor Amargo’.

 

 

 

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