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Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Live Manchester & Dublin


Review: Jack Foley

THE spellbinding guitar brilliance of Mexico's finest exports, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, is displayed to quite breath-taking effect on this live album, which expertly showcases what an essential double act this duo have become.

Recorded in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral and the Manchester Academy over the past five months, this rare live outing is an absolute must for anyone who was seduced by their work on Re-Foc.

It also capably realises the duo's successful transition from former heavy metal band members to acoustic artists of the highest calibre, as they take in everything from folk, funk, flamenco and jazz to the timeless brilliance of Astor Piazzolla's evergreen Libertango.

Such is their enjoyment, that there's even a nod to The White Stripes, in a blink and you'll miss it homage to Detroit's favourite citizens, as well as a sublime cover of jazz classic, Take 5, interwoven with Metallica's One, delivered as only R&G know how.

But then this live album is all about having fun and the energy contained within is quite infectious.

You'll be clapping and cheering along to the live renditions of album favourites, and laughing as they crack jokes with their audience and mix things up a little.

All of which serves to ensure that Rodrigo Y Gabriela continue to remain an inspiration for anyone who has dreamt of playing a guitar for a living.

Hard to believe, isn't it, that they perfected their skills in their hometown of Mexico City by playing hard, fast, US-influenced heavy metal for seven years in a band called Tierra Acida, before deciding to make the break and go acoustic.

Yet, after busking their way around Europe, including spells in Denmark and Spain, they eventually settled in Dublin and were soon wowing crowds at Womad.

As word spread, so did their popularity, culminating in the live shows that are showcased on this live album.

As a must-own companion to Re-Foc, or simply as an outstanding acoustic guitar album in its own right, this is a Latin-influenced dazzler that possesses all the passion and desire that we have come to expect from that continent.

It should leave you breathless.


 

Track listing:
1. Foc
2. Hola
3. One / Take 5
4. Mr Tang
5. Paris
6. Libertango
7. Captain Cassanova
8. One


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