Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Playhouse, Review
Ever since the '97 album was launched to global acclaim, the Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club has been delighting audiences with their exuberant mix of traditional Cuban salsa music.
Last night was no exception, as the fourteen-piece band took to the stage and played a range of familiar numbers and some new tracks. Creating a great sound, the line-up included musicians from the original album - some of whom are now in their eighties - Manuel Galban on guitar; Guajiro Mirabal on trumpet; Aguaje Ramos, the leader of the band on trombone and the star of the evening, singer Omara Portuondo.
In her eighties, she came on stage halfway through the concert. Up until that point the audience had been very British and remained stoically in their seats as they tapped their feet and clapped their hands to the mesmerizing rhythms - but when Omara Portuondo appeared, within no time at all she had raised such a rumpus that she had not only persuaded those in those stalls to stand up and sway to the rhythms, but she almost had them dancing in the aisles. She is an extraordinary charismatic character and has a marvelous way of interacting with the audience.
This festival atmosphere continued right to the end of the concert with the audience refusing to let them go until they had played two rousing encores.
Touring Britain until 19th April