La Línea – Como No 21 – 30 April 2015 London
Backed by the beauty of the hall at Union Chapel, a church in a Victorian Gothic architecture style, Jorge Drexler won over the audience with a concert in which his charisma and voice accompanied by dances and constant interaction with the public were able to create a magical evening.
Drexler, who’s fifty years old, demonstrated his mature musical career on stage, playing songs from his new album Bailar en la cueva (Dancing in the cave, 2014).
Catchy tunes with Colombian flavour, intermingled with older songs, poetic lyrics in which the voice of the Uruguayan singer transported the viewer into a state of trance.
Bailar en la cueva, the last album of this Uruguayan settled in Spain, was recorded in Colombia with a great collaboration from local artists such as the illustrator Mateo Rivano, the band Bomba Estereo and DJ Quantic, among others. As Drexler mentioned himself “we to record the disc to Colombia and the disc was filled up with cumbia” – the traditional music genre from Colombia-.
An album, co-produced by Mario Galeano, that generates movement, dances.
The same flow that showed the audience during the gig, rising from their pews and getting carried away by Drexler’s charming voice, accompanied by the drums of Borja Barrueta and the Bass of Martin Leiton The same desire that showed the audience during the concert, rising from the pews and carried away by the voice of Drexler next to the battery of Bilbao Borja Barrueta and the Double Bass Martin Leiton, both from Spain.
Even the stage inspired love at first sight. With the help on a smoke machine to add an even more mystical, the scenario stood defiant in front of the church’s altar just below an exuberant flower-shaped window through which the last rays of sunset trickled.
Emotion and beauty conveyed the artist’s songs, who released its first album La luz que sabe robar (The light that knows steal) in 1992 and since then has not stopped. Winner of the first Oscar to a non-English language song for Al Otro Lado del Río (Across the River) and two Grammys for his latest album, Jorge Drexler;s style merges different Latin American musical styles such as candombe, murga, milonga together with pop , jazz, electronic and even bossa nova.
Beauty especially for his voice that was projected to every corner thanks to the powerful echo of the room, which even led the singer to ask the public to avoid clapping during songs as it was creating a deafening noise.
The castañuelas took the reveal, along with choirs from the public and even whistles that accompanied known and celebrated Drexler’s songs sucha as Guitarra y Vos, Los transeúntes, Transporte, Polvo de estrella y Deseo, among others.
Songs full of musicality and poetry, hiptonic almost like a lullaby that was cradling the room filled with a vast majority of Spanish-speakers, humming, singing and and dreaming with Drexler while he was singing with the only background of the Double Bass notes and palms Caí creo cai (I fell I think I fell) dedicated to Cadiz “which has the most beautiful carnival of Spain” or Aquellos tiempos (Those times), with candombe rhythms that travel back to the year 1983 in Uruguay, the year that Drexler he started his medicine studies and his country began its political opening.
But without doubt, one of the surprises of the night were Drexler’s dances, although shy at first, they reach by the end of the nigh a funny choreography to the rhythms of the clapping of the audience hungry for more songs.
However, the dances were not the only surprise of the night. The powerful voice of Jacobo Serra, a Spanish younger that opened the concert, certainly left a deep impression on the public.
In acoustic, only with his guitar and ukulele and songs sang in English, Serra even dared to execute a graceful duet with Drexler in Soledad (Solitude).
As Drexler himself said, “To this place we came to sing”. And he sang a complete set which also included the song that won him the Oscar, Al Otro lado del Río, a capella, to continue with tradition.
Among others songs which were added by two encore such as the song Bolivia, direct from his new album that talks about how Bolivia was the only country that gave asylum during the Second World War and with which the singer took the opportunity to remind the public of the thousands of Africans “who also hope to cross our borders ” but perish at sea.
A concert that ended up with the space, the public and the music all together, sharing “the bling spot of sorrow! With the song La Luna de Rasqui (The Moon of Rasqui).
A song in honour of the Venezuelan Caribbean beach where through a “connection with the cosmos,” Drexler had a the feeling that the moon spoke to him saying that at his spot sorrow couldn’t reach him.
And thus ended the concert night as Drexler described: “Tonight here we have generated a new blind spot for sorrow, here where people came looking for peace”.
La Linea’s festival will continue until next thursday 30th with Ana Tijoux.