Week twenty four – Viva Live Music

Drums, drums, drums.

This week, I had a drum heavy day. Which is no bad thing.

Saturday lunchtime, I found a spot along West End High Street to watch the carnival procession. It started with a brass band warming up just across the street from us. Then we were treated to YMCA in brass. It is quite the spectacle.

Then the ever-wonderful Batala Portsmouth http://www.batalaportsmouth.com led the way for the following brightly coloured floats, children carrying sandcastle buckets and adults dressed in many frills and feathers (the theme was Rio carnival – did you guess?).

There’s not much more I can say about Batala. I  Batala.

I was particularly excited for my Dad and my brother James to see them. I’ve been banging on about them for long enough (excuse the pun), and I’d finally dragged them along to experience the music.

Later that evening, my father-daughter bonding continued to a trip to The Brook. Dad is a massive Santana fan and so he got a ticket to see Viva Santana for his birthday. On arrival, it was clear that our drumming for the day was not yet over.

Excuse my novice musical technicalities, but there were at least three types of drum on stage.

  1. A ‘normal’ drum kit. All the usual skins and cymbals in place.
  2. A trio of Latin, hand drums (I believe they’re called congas).
  3. A contraption that was at standing height, made up of two snare drums (I think – to the untrained eye), more cymbals, tambourines laid around and a shitload of cowbells. MORE COWBELL.

Pretty soon, the band came out and took their places at the assembled orchestra. Because an orchestra is a fair comment. There was so much going on and so many sounds being made, you could’ve been mistaken to think that there were many more than just the six people on stage.

Viva Santana are an excellent tribute band and a fantastic band in their own right. Check them out here. http://www.vivasantana.com

They played on and went through the back catalogue of Santana. It was also interesting to see a smattering of magpieing from other sources. There were nods to Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones and even The Black Eyed Peas.

Viva Santana are clearly very talented musicians. I loved the cacophony of drum sounds that took me back to Latin America. It’s not quite the same when you’re dancing in Swaythling, Southampton, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. And the magic of live music is that for a few minutes, it can transport you to wherever you imagine in your mind.

We all need that in our lives. Viva Santana. Viva live music.

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