Rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal have almost always been about having a great time all together – whether you are the star on stage or the spectator in front of the stage. Although this intimacy is not present at most “mainstream” shows and especially with this whole aspect of music being fed down your throat in a capitalist fashion by many contemporary metal and rock media sources, there are still many places and bands you can find who all that they care about is playing quality music and rockin’ out WITH the audience. For this reason, I usually pick venues like The Underworld in London – the intimacy and the atmosphere at gigs there is priceless. Last night’s concert at The Hole in the Wall in Colchester is a similar kind of venue; however, it is just a pub with a very small stage.
What made it even more interesting was that the headlining act was not local or from the same country but a band which travelled all the way from Venezuela. To travel all that way and play a small venue like this just demonstrates the dedication and passion these people have for their music. The first thing that Cultura Tres’ vocalist and guitarist, Alejandro Londono, said on stage was how much he loved the UK scene with its small intimate venues and the passion which appears both on and in front of the stage. After the show I sat down with him and had a chat about that; he made comparisons to mainland Europe and his own country in South America – both are not the same as the UK according to him. I went on to ask him about the Venezuelan scene and his thoughts on religion as well as the re-release of their 2011 album El Mal Del Bien:
During their set, Alejandro, when referring to the UK scene, stated that it’s also great to be here because this is the country where heavy music was born. This actually made me feel go back in time to the 60s and 70s when bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Widow, Iron Maiden were starting out at similarly sized venues and same crowds. Cultura Tres are already getting recognition worldwide in both the underground and more popular corners of the world. But who knows? Maybe they will become the next big thing just like those bands of the 60s and 70s playing these kinds of pubs? Perhaps one of the supporting acts: Old Man Lizard or Telepathy? Enough daydreaming… on to the actual show…
All three acts received a very warm welcome and were supported throughout their sets. Old Man Lizard were the first act to hit the stage. Opening a show can always be very difficult, nevertheless, once they hit those slow and draining doom/stoner-ish riffs and melodies, people from all over the pub got up with their beers to have a closer look. And why wouldn’t you? The melodies, the crunchy bass lines and the Electric Wizard-type vocals made it all worth it. Old Man Lizard put on a very enjoyable set which included everything you would want to hear from such a band: headbanging moments, soothing – or may I say trippy? – melodies, heavy riffs. Where is that spliff now?
Telepathy were up next with their instrumental / progressive / technical madness. They put on a really tight performance with some unexpected blastbeats on the drums here and there which made everything even better. They are definitely worth checking out if technical and instrumental music rocks your boat.
After that, it was the headliner’s time to get on stage. It is amazing how you can notice straight away when a band has more experience or really “has it in them”. From the beginning when the intro tape was playing, the atmosphere totally changed and the audience was ready for some South American doom. Real passion reverberated from the musicians on stage and went straight into the veins of the spectators. The rhythms, the melodies, the drum beats and fills – it was just something out of this world. Although they were promoting the re-release of their album (via Devouter Records) El Mal Del Bien, their set also included tracks from their debut La Cura. What made it even more interesting was the fact that the bassist was a friend of the band’s and learnt the tracks on the way to the show (on the ferry as Alejandro said). This was because the original bassist (Alonso Milano) could not attend the gig due to an injury which he sustained right before the gig. Regardless of that, the show went on and the musicians doomed the hell out of everyone.
When asked about the aim of Cultura Tres’ music, Alejandro answered that he would like his music to inspire people to think and make them question everything, especially religion. Even if it would be only one person who would be affected by their doom then he would feel like he has achieved something great. Maybe this is somewhat of a huge dream but it is nevertheless possible – the power of music and art is many times underestimated. With the work that the members of this band put into their project and the way they treat their fans, it is very likely that they will achieve that and even more in the future.
Check out the performing bands’ studio material: