Live Music + Gig Reviews

Rodrigo y Gabriela + A Girl Called Eddy @ Ronnie Scott’s, London

16 November 2003

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Having never paid five quid for a drink in my life, the evening did not get off to a good start. However, A Girl Called Eddy‘s soothing melodies calm my somewhat flustered persona. Resting somewhere between Norah Jones and the album fillers on the Bridget Jones soundtrack, the British four-piece make an impressive debut at Ronnie’s, winning over a distracted crowd with their mellow charm.

With one half of the headlining duo taking to the stage in a Slayer T-shirt (surely a first for Ronnie Scotts?!), it is clear from the outset that this Mexican acoustic act aren’t all that meets the eye. Having given up their dreams of fame asa Latin metal band, sibling act Rodrigo y Gabriela decided to start playing “background” music in beach hotels in 1998, and the rest, as they say, is history.

With the opening song taking in classic Latin rhythms, frantic fretboard chaos and percussion courtesy of the guitar body it seems that this rapt audience is in for a real treat. As the Mexican virtuosos introduce a new piece, “Mr Tang”, immortalising a “cray-zy” (pronounced in a Mexican accent) taxi driver they encountered while touring Singapore, there is a definite buzz through out the packed crowd, who nod and tap along profusely.

Cheers engulf the club as the infectious tune of Dave Brubeck‘s Take 5 drifts through the PA and the pair then drop in a tribute to their “metal” roots in the form of Metallica‘s One, complete with more guitar percussion slapping, and rocking punters. Rodrigo is adamant to clarify that he and his partner are…: “…Not flamenco players. We do a little flamenco, but I say we are not, because if those real flamenco players thought we were… They would kill us!” Point taken.

Next we are treated to a trio of songs condensed into a beautiful medley: New One, George Street and Safe. Gabriella introduces Diem as a tribute to guitarist and composer, Dave Mustaine (of Megadeth fame) which causes much less, yet just as passionate cries of approval. As the first track from their official debut Re-Foc (from the Spanish word for fire before you start laughing!), Diem is undoubtedly the highlight of the set, with impeccable timing, sensational rhythm and blistering riffs being executed by what sounds like twice the number of instruments.

Closing with the encore number Foc, into which the riffs from The White Stripes‘ Seven Nation Army and Metallica’s Enter Sandman are subtly placed, a standing ovation occurs mid-song as all in view are captivated by the sheer power and energy which erupts from the stage. Not only are the ex-rockers able to hold this exclusive venue’s undivided attention with Pied Piper-like hypnosis, they can’t half strum a six-string too!

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