Catch up with Chao’s infectious music that cobble together hotchpotch of genres
Now, Chao is back again with his unique brand of music in India on March 23-24, he will be performing in Bengaluru at Koramangala Social and at Socials Sauce Festival in Mumbai on March 26.It was ironical then that Blue Frog, the Delhi nightclub that spelled bourgeoisie in big fat capital letters, should host a man who cocks a snook at all things bourgeois, whose lyrics blaze a revolutionary trail taking on the high-handedness of George Bush, corporate world and consumerism.
Back in October 2013, when Mano Chao was performing live in India, even those who were not familiar with him, were seen jumping deliriously to the staccato rhythm interspersed with soul-twisting flamenco guitar interludes. Now, Chao is back again with his unique brand of music in India – on March 23-24, he will be performing in Bengaluru (at Koramangala Social) and at Social's Sauce Festival in Mumbai on March 26.
It was ironical then that Blue Frog, the Delhi nightclub that spelled bourgeoisie in big fat capital letters, should host a man who cocks a snook at all things bourgeois, whose lyrics blaze a revolutionary trail taking on the high-handedness of George Bush, corporate world and consumerism. But as Chao and his band, La Ventura, chased down the flamenco interplay, caught it midway and cranked up the tempo, without missing a beat, there was no choice but to set aside such thoughts and 'pogo' along with the crowd to the pulsating energy. Chao's songs are informed by the plight of people that he encountered on his backpacking trips across South America and Africa and the song that propelled him to fame is Clandestino (illegal immigrant), released in 1998. (And Chao, who goes with the mood and not necessarily the line-up of his hit songs, did breeze through Clandestino last time — the echoing crowd standing testimony to the fact that he had struck the right chord with the masses.) Before Clandestino, Chao was part of Mano Negra, a cult world music band that allegedly called itself after an anarchist group in Spain in the late 19th century. It is also widely held that had Mano Negra promoted itself right, it could have easily broken into the mainstream music scene. But instead, the band travelled to South America in search of life-changing experiences. When differences of opinions led to the band's split, Chao continued to travel to the remote corners of the world, cobbling together a hotchpotch of genres he picked up en route busking with local musicians, giving shape to the sound that he's identified with today. Chao's music ideology is simple. "Music could bring about a change, yes. But it should also entertain," he had said between hugging fans and posing for pictures back in 2013.
Perhaps that is why Chao sheaths his edgy, left-leaning lyrics in peppy beats and infectious, almost ridiculous, choruses. At one level, if you let the bouncy reggae rhythm alone seduce you, Welcome to Tijuana, could be a happy-go-lucky song about Tijuana. But those who are aware of the plight of this city in Mexico, know that the song alludes to the rampant drug and human trafficking taking place there. Chao anchors his foot-tapping beats with thought-provoking lyrics. In Rainin' in Paradize, he introduces you to Congo's Mibali, and in Rumba de Barcelona, he talks about Bibi Malena and Abdu Lula, driving home the point that the downtrodden exist everywhere. It is true that music has no barriers. Way back in 2013, at Blue Frog Delhi, the moment Chao and his band started playing —the band in their customary style, stormed the stage, and took over from the word go — he found himself many new fans. One among them, Parvati Thampi, who had come because one of her Spanish friends insisted, was awestruck at the end of it. "Loved every minute," she kept repeating to guitarist Madjid Fahem and drummer Phillipe Teboul later.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Coventry on brink of Premier League return after Robins restores order to club in chaos
Heavy rains turn streets into rivers on Spain's Mediterranean coast
Spain takes action against racism after Vinícius case but punishing fans remains a challenge
Voter fraud allegations mark last day of election campaigning in Spain
Spain probing African migrant voyage after reported Moroccan gunfire