The musicians are Spanish and British and the band seems to be based in Manchester. World Music Network’s website pushes the flexible virtuosity of Glen Sharp’s guitar—he “has worked on projects in African, Arabic, Indian and Latin American music”—but it’s the basic flamenco sound that rules here: the selfish nostalgic angst of Chico Pere’s voice, and the ritual murmur of encouragement and appreciation from voices in the background.
Nothing ever removes the impression that this is southern Spain, Spain’s album, Andalusia’s album, flamenco’s album. Everything else is decoration around that essential fact. Pere and Sharp don’t have the mutually attacking relationship that you hear in some flamenco partnerships, which makes the album less fierce than it could have been, and leaves them both somewhat isolated when they could have been knotted together. You get the feeling that there are places they can still go. But this is only the band’s first album. There’s still time. They’re very good.
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// Notes from the Road
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