where we'll join our heroine in her travails in search of kick ass music and more

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deolinda @ Joe's Pub - 10.4.10

I almost didn't make it to this show. Been sick a lot lately and started to get really ill right before moi and the boy had to head out to meet our friend Soft-Spoken Feisty Lady. But I got a burst of 'I'm-not-going-to-let-a-random-illness-keep-me-from-yet-another-show' rage and with the help of probably too many meds provided by our fine friends at McNeil Pharmaceuticals, I stumbled out into the rainy cold evening and rushed to the city.

We'd booked a table, b/c that's the only guaranteed way of getting a seat at Joe's Pub. Little aside: they have a good racket going there. Book great acts to come play at their venue and then make everyone buy at least $12 worth of food in order for them to get a seat. Doesn't seem so bad in theory. Twelve dollars, that's nothing surely...unless the food is a bit oh, let's say abysmal. Particularly for someone with any sort of dietary restriction, aka 'must-everything-in-the-menu-have-cheese-in-it-for-crissake's!'

But enough griping about the food...except for one more thing. I thought most money in establishments was made from drinks. Soo why not just have a $12 minimum which includes drinks? Wouldn't that be more profitable? Ok, rant over ;o)

The boy and myself managed to just make our reservation and met up with SSFL inside - who by the way was let in to Joe's Pub even though she didn't have her ticket - very classy Joe's Pub! Thankee kindly for your er, kindness :o)

We snuggled into our teeny table...which was center stage! Right up against the stage! Very cool! I'd been to Joe's Pub before but had either had a table further back or had had to stand over by the bar because I hadn't snagged a reservation (not so great btw, to have to stand over by the bar - don't really recommend it. If you remember nothing else from this review, remember to make a reservation as soon as you get a tix. Heck, have a friend call for a reservation while you're getting tixs!). This was the first time I'd managed such a great spot. I had the boy sit the closest to the stage, so I could sit a bit further back to better enjoy the show. Hey, I was the main fan in the party, so I got the better seat ;o)

We still hadn't quite managed to finish our food when Deolinda came on stage. Ana Bacalhau - the lead singer - told us (in great English) a little bit about the tour - how it was their first time playing in New York City and talked a little about the first song.

Deolinda - Luis Jose Martins, Ana Bacalhau, Ze Pedro Leitao and Pedro da Silva Martins
She also kindly named each song before performing it, which made my life a lot easier since I never seem to manage to note down the set list. They started out with Se Uma Onda Invertesse a Marcha (If a Wave Inverted the March) and proceeded to put on an amazing show.

I really liked her storytelling - she'd make sure to set the stage for each song, telling us a little bit about what it was about. And she hoped that by her gestures and body language, those that didn't speak English would come to understand what she was singing about.

Ana introduced Patinho de Borracha (Rubber Duckie), by saying it was about 'people who like to talk about themselves, but pardon my French, they're full of it'.

About halfway through she moved a bit to the back of the stage and explained that the two following songs were the closest Deolinda had that were like classical Fado. And for Fado, the fadista (or fado singer) always stands next to the guitar player while singing). She then proceeded to belt into Cancao da Tal Guitarra (Song of that Guitar) and O Fado Nao E Mau (Fado Isn't Bad) and gave a rousing performance worthy of the best Fadistas.

'Ah Grande Fadista!'
She then told us a little bit about 'Marchas Populares' (Popular Marches), a Portuguese tradition which most famously takes place in Lisbon during the month of June honoring the city's patron saint, Santo Antonio.  Each neighborhood will come up with their own choreography, music, song and costumes, and parade down the city streets in a competition to determine the best 'marcha' each year. Deolinda has come up with their own version of a 'marcha' - A Problemática Colocação De Um Mastro (The Problematic Placement of a Mast). It was very rousing, very patriotic, until the little twist in the end - all in all a very funny and entertaining rendition.

There had been singing along all throughout, due to the 50-50 ratio of Portuguese to English speakers in the room. But when Fon Fon Fon  or in English, Fon Fon Fon ;o) started, that's when everyone really joined in. This is a song about a girl who loves a tuba player in a philarmonic band. All her friends say that the sound of a tuba isn't romantic and her parents disapprove, but she's fallen for the fon fon fon that her namorado makes. Wonderfully fun performance with lots of audience participation.

They then said their goodbyes and we all started to clap wildly to have them return. Ana thanked us and said she would be playing a more melancholic song - Clandestino (Clandestine) and then insisted that we all sing along during the 'last' song Movimento Perpétuo Associativo (Perpetual Associative Movement). She said that this song was about those people who always got very excited about things, about revolutions, that got everyone riled up. But then when it was time to act, they'd say 'Vai sem mim, que eu vou la ter', or 'go without me, i'll catch up', i.e. yeah, i'm not going. She then spoke in Portuguese for the first time (minus the time she sang of course) to the audience and asked how many Portuguese were there. And if we'd sing the refrain extra loudly to make sure that the English-only speakers around us would be able to follow along. And surely we did! The audience proceeded to sang its little heart out and sang the band off the stage as they took their goodbyes.


But we weren't ready to say our goodbye yet. The audience kept on singing the refrain of the last song until the band came back on stage for a third time and finally sang their last song Eu Tenho um Melro (I Have a Blackbird).

Great performance, full of life and joy and fun. I hope they'll come back soon to NYC and get ever more popular in the US. I'll certainly do my best to spread the gospel :o)

P.S. They were super friendly to their fans and stayed on after the show to sign autographs and take photos. That's where I got the 'stolen' set-list (thanks to the help of my boy) signed by all 4 of them. Thanks so much Deolinda!

'Stolen' and Signed Set-List :o)
P.P.S. Just had to point out a fun little detail that I noticed - the singer's built in pocket on her dress to house her mike transmitter. Soo clever :o)