This is another show in this years Future Juke Festival who are putting on many of the best blues influenced acts around now and tonight’s show features the least conventional sounding blues acts of the three I’ve covered for Rockshot Magazine this year.
This show was the first night of Guadalupe Plata’s UK tour to promote the bands fifth album Three Demons on Everlasting Records/Norman Records where the band set out to record “un-Christian” sounds, searching for the bands own Gris Gris while recording in a Spanish monastery and trying to strip back their sound as much as possible even using a washtub single string bass!
Joining them as support tonight is Joe Gideon who is still best known as part of Bikini Atoll as well as his solo work as Joe Gideon & the Shark who have toured with among others Nick Cave where he met tonight’s drummer Jim Sclavunos. Jim has now been drumming for 40 years since starting out with the original Tav Falco’s Panther Burns and then playing with among others The Cramps, Lydia Lunch and who I last saw earlier this year playing with Peter Perrett at a secret party. His trio is completed with Gris-De-Lin on keyboards and synths.
Joe Gideon mainly plays a sort of talking blues about various forms of paranoia and mental illness with Jim Sclavunos’ drums punctuating the tales nicely while Gris-De-Lin’s keyboards add all sorts of dramatic effects to them Especially on Johan Was A Painter & Arsonist, a brilliantly dark tale of a despairing artist setting his studio and family ablaze. They did end with a happier song Anything You Love That Much, You Will See Again I hope to see them again that’s for sure.
After the break Guadalupe Plata came on with the lights set to deep red for the entire set to help make sure they had the right sort of “Paella Western” setting that the opening instrumental. It also made them sound like they were at the Spanish equivalent of the bar in From Dusk Till Dawn only instead of Mariachi guitarists we have some wonderfully stripped back almost Gallon Drunk style blues rock driven along by Paco Luis Martos washtub bass playing using just a single string.
They are not the sort of band that go in for song introductions and my Spanish is rather poor but it really didn’t matter as they had Dingwalls grooving with the propulsive sounds Carlos Jimena got out of his fairly basic drum kit while Pedro De Dios every now and then spat some lyrics at us while playing his guitar like he spent far too much time listening to Link Wray and Screaming Jay Hawkins.
As they played in the red swathed gloom it felt like they were playing the soundtrack to imaginary westerns like perhaps For A Few Pesetas More and certainly Corral Corral from the latest album fed into that atmosphere. Most of the mainly Spanish audience sang along to Oh Mama really making it feel like we need to cry out to her as much as we can.
Almost half way through the set Paco Luis Martos switched to a cigar box bass in time for the rather sultry sounding Lo Mataron that felt like they were playing in a bordello on the outskirts of Toledo.
The crowd were dancing more as the set went on as they got more of a groove on with the cigar bass and they just had everyone along for the ride, into the Andalusian wastelands, with them in search of who knows what dangerous delights. The power and energy they had was building as they had most of the audience singing along to some of the bands Spanish hits that also guaranteed the audience went a little bit nuts at the end of the set.
They came back for an encore that was a singalong romp through Baby Baby that was like an amped up dark and nasty re-working of Baby Please Don’t Go that seemed like a perfect way to end a cool and darkly rocking set of very Paella western blues a band that are well worth seeing live.
Live Review by Simon Phillips and Photography by Jerry Tremaine of Guadalupe Plata and Joe Gideon with Jim Sclavunos Gris-De-Lin Live at Dingwalls on 6th June 2019.