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Paco Pena in Brighton - Review   You are logged in as Guest
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bindu_72

 

Posts: 24
Joined: Mar. 12 2004
 

Paco Pena in Brighton - Review 

I went to see Paco Pena on Saturday in the Brighton Dome, England. Travelled 300 miles round trip from the Midlands - and for what, to see his left ear all night ....

What do I mean ? Well here I am sat with my brother in the front stalls in the centre - good view - good seats (at 25 quid each - the most expensive tickets). Im ready to study Mr. Pena's guitar technique. This is my 5th flamenco concert so even though Im not interested in the singing or the dancing side of flamenco I accept that my eyes will have to do a lot of manoeuvring around bodies to see the maestro play. The name on the ticket in big bold writing reads "PACO PENA" - underneath his name in smaller unbolded letters "And His Flamenco Dance Company". Excellant I will be entertained first-and-foremost by a guitarist. Hmm No.

Mr. Pena decided that it would be a revolutionary idea to actually play 90% of the concert facing 90 degrees to the audiance. I along with a few hundred people sat watching a guitarist - without never actually seeing the sound hole of the guitar or his hands. So why did he do this - well as far as I know, and you guys can correct me if im wrong. Flamenco is traditionally focused upon the Dancers and the singers - and the guitarist is there to accompany them - he sits there quitely playing away in the background out of the lime light. I accept this fair enough.

So then dont put your "Name in Lights" is what I say.

The 80's equivalent of this concert would be to pay to see "Prince and the Revolution" only to come away from the concert seeing the Revolution - there would be a riot with people asking for their money back.

There were people in the left stalls who I think saw the back of his neck the whole time. Ironically, the one time Mr. Pena played by himself facing the audiance (what a privilage) some ****s mobile phone went off - even after everyone was told to switch them off. Prat !!!

By now I had lost interest - even when Pena decided to remove his sock and play the guitar with his fret hand in the sock. Thankfully for Pena I think I was the only guitar fan in the audiance because the crowd loved it - and this was cemented by the fact that the dancers got the biggest cheer at the end of the performance.

Overall very dissapointed - one good thing came out of it though, a couple of friends who were new to flamemco were sat in the balcony near the side. They had a perfect view of Paco's playing - 10 quid seats - what a bargain better than front row in this case. My friend now wants to see Paco De Lucia - great !!!

Im off to see Paco De Lucia play in Barcelona next. Maybe buying 3rd row tickets will be a mistake. Maybe De lucia will decide to play lying down facing the ceiling all night - and also adopt the "Can't let anbody see the sound hole on my guitar performace".

If you ever read this review Paco Pena dont take it to heart. You probably just thought it was a rehersal and didn't realise that there were a few hundred people to the left of you - Never mind.

Im so pissed-off im not even gonna mention the great music being played. Hell I can listen to great music on a CD.

My guitar teacher lent me a DVD of Al Di Meola playing with two other great guitarists (Not: De Lucia and Mclaughlin) - Fantastic, "Mediterranean Sundance" - unbelivable. But above all... faultless "Chair Orientation".

Feel free to come to his defense - im sure he has plenty of fans out there ....


Bindu (whing of the week over and im glad i've got that off my chest)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 22 2004 10:17:33
 
Jim Opfer

Posts: 1876
Joined: Jul. 19 2003
From: Glasgow, Scotland.

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to bindu_72

Hey Bindu,

I saw the show in Glasgow, it was uplifting and brilliant. I really enjoyed it so what can I say?
I posted this elsewhere on Foro.

Hope you enjoy PdL.

Cheers.
Jim.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 22 2004 18:47:27
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to bindu_72

Hi Bindu,
That sounds a real bummer!
(Obviously Paco didn't know you were in the audience LOL)
But seriously, I know what you're saying.
You go mainly to see the guitarist and get a good look at the technique and that's what happens.
Gosh, it would be great to see one of those concerts from the 60's or 70's where the only guy on stage was the name on the ticket, and you got a chance to talk backstage with him afterwards and get a few tips on technique.
All those concerts were so much more low key then.
Even in the Classical field.
Like, I saw John Williams in the City Hall, playing for about 500 of an audience.
A great and very intimate experience between the performer and the audience.
Now I've heard his appearance fee is £30,000!
A good few years ago I met the concert promoter for Aberdeen's City's Music Hall and I asked him why couldn't he put on some flamenco instead of Chamber Music, Popular/Folk Music and Classical Dance etc.
He said he'd looked into hiring Paco's "Flamenco Puro" group and said that to put on a one night show would have taken most of his funding money for the month!

Mind you, in the 60's top footballers got about £100 a week LOL!

Hope you're luckier with the PdL concert!

cheers

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 22 2004 20:09:32
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3523
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to bindu_72

You should see my Paco Pena review here. It's not much better than yours :(
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2004 5:21:50
 
bindu_72

 

Posts: 24
Joined: Mar. 12 2004
 

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Hi Miguel,

I cant find your Paco Pena review can you post a link. I done a search by author - but no luck.

Bindu.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2004 10:25:33
 
Kate

Posts: 1827
Joined: Jul. 8 2003
From: Living in Granada, Andalucía

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to bindu_72

Thanks for all the differing views on Paco Peñas show. It sounds as if it he was playing to packed and enthusiastic flamenco audiences so there's more of us out there than we think. It bodes well for future flamenco shows. I'm going to see if I can find out from the promoters what they paid, it sounds like an expensive show to take on the road.


Funnily enough people here do not really know of Paco Peña and I dont think I have seen an advert for him playing in Spain.

Kate

_____________________________

Emilio Maya Temple
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000CA6OBC
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/emiliomaya
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2004 11:45:10
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3523
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Kate

Simon, do you know where my Paco Pena review is for Bindu?

Kate, why don't you come to Scottsdale Center for the Arts. you guys would blow the house down.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2004 18:34:06
 
Escribano

Posts: 5993
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: Italy

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Miguel de Maria

I remember you got a flame on that from a guest and the standby Admin may have deleted the whole thread rather than the single post. That's my best guess. What can I say, just can't get the staff nowadays Though that is probably wrong, can't seem to find it and I am not jesting. Do you have a copy? Always keep a copy of your reviews.

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2004 22:15:24
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3523
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to bindu_72

Simon, are you serious about getting flamed by a guest? I thought my review was in good taste, if not reverent. I didn't keep a copy. Was there a stand-in admin here?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 23 2004 23:57:56
 
Escribano

Posts: 5993
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: Italy

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Miguel de Maria

We can't find it. We'll take this off-line and let you know.

_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2004 9:01:47
 
Kate

Posts: 1827
Joined: Jul. 8 2003
From: Living in Granada, Andalucía

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Have you got the contact details? I can always send them our promo package of the flamecos de Granada. Cheers for the idea

Kate

_____________________________

Emilio Maya Temple
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000CA6OBC
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/emiliomaya
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2004 13:20:13
Guest

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to bindu_72

Well if you want to see some very accomplished playing come down to Brighton tomorrow to see Juan Gomez Chicuelo (personally i think he is a more exciting guitarist than Paco Pena)

He will be playing facing the audience so you will be able to see his artistry and technique perfectly. He is regarded as one of the top guitarists of his generation, he has got great picado and alza pua but never over uses his techniques. He is contemporary without in any way losing the flamenco feel.

He has got a great tutor video on the Encuentros series and his first album Complices was voted best guitar album of the year by Flamenco Hoy (a serious flamenco publication).

He will be playing in a quartet formation and is in the country specially for the Brighton Festival for one night only (he was too busy to get him other gigs or have a workshop).

I know its a long way to go but i can assure you that for any lover of flamenco guitar it will be a real treat.

Hope to see you there

Calavera
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2004 17:25:04
Guest

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Kate

Hi Kate

My name is Paul Aguilera from Brighton, we didn't have a chance to meet when you were down here as i was ill, but i have been listening to the material that you left Tony and i love it, we need to talk at some stage as it would be good to get some people over from Granada.

Concerning Paco Peña's show in Brighton, the show was a repeat of the same show that toured last year to much larger audiences. I suppose that they may have tried to suck the last few dollars worth out of the show, in Brighton the busiest shows didnt have more than 500 people attend it. This may seem like a lot but the venue holds 1800 people. The venue paid approximately £17,000 for five shows, two mattinees and three evening. The Dome has a massive mailing list and is almost totally funded by public money this makes it very hard to compete against.

Whilst Paco Peña has been a good ambasador for flamenco in this country and has done much to promote the music, his popularity here presents problems for people like myself who have been trying to promote new and exciting artists that live and work in Spain.

What often happens is that much of the audiences that see his shows are not habitual flamenco people and so when you try and sell other artists to them they are quite often not interested. It also presents problems when booking venues as they are not always prepared to book artists when he has played recently in the area (or is about too).

Whilst competition is quite often good it doesnt always help up and coming artists with their own shows. I have seen Paco Peña on a number of occasions and believe he is a good player, however i would be interested to know how his career would have evolved if he had stayed in Spain.

All the best

Paul
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2004 17:51:15
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Guest

Yeah!
Chicuelo is the biz!
Only sorry I can't be there to see him!
Have a good evening and let us know how the concert went.

cheers

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 6 2004 19:37:33
 
Kate

Posts: 1827
Joined: Jul. 8 2003
From: Living in Granada, Andalucía

RE: Paco Pena in Brighton - Review (in reply to Guest

Hi Paul,

Nice to see you on the forum. Simon does a great job here. I was sorry to miss you as well in Brighton but enjoyed meeting Tony and John. Also glad you liked the material, there is a something for everyone in there, cante, baile, guitarra, percusión, piano. And all respeccted and experienced performers. You have my number so call for a chat any time. I'm talking with Tony about getting Emilio Maya for the Lewes Guitar festival, he has quite a few committments already in August but I know he wants to do it. He also may have the opportunity to play live on BBC Radio which would be great for his new CD, 'Temple', which you will already have heard some rough mixes of.

It does appear that Paco Peña has the monoply when it comes to flamenco in Britain. Though he has worked hard to do it and he is a good guitarist and works with good people. I was surprised that he played 5 shows, and am not surprised that they did not sell out. Thanks for the low down. I was told by a promoter recently that unless it was Paco de Lucia or Joaquin Cortes people simply would not come, so I'm glad to hear its not as bad as that.

Look forward to meeting you some time. Good luck with Kandela.

Kate

_____________________________

Emilio Maya Temple
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000CA6OBC
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/emiliomaya
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 8 2004 17:46:31
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