Rodrigo Y Gabriela: Nottingham Rock City, Thursday May 31
With each successive visit to Nottingham (last night’s being their third in twelve months), Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero’s audience seems to double in size. Much of this must be due to the word-of-mouth factor; as anyone who witnessed their extraordinary performances at Rock City last November and at the Rescue Rooms last May would testify, this amazingly accomplished Mexican guitar duo put on the sort of show that simply shouldn’t be missed.
However, success comes at a price – and if last night’s show was anything to go by, then the price in Rodrigo and Gabriela’s case may well be a loss of intimacy. Yes, the audience whooped and clapped in all the right places during the louder, more rock-influenced numbers – but during the quieter, more delicate passages, the rapt concentration which characterised the duo’s previous shows was all but wrecked by loud, incessant and appallingly disrespectful chatter from the edges of the venue, particularly around the right hand bar area.
This places Sanchez and Quintero in a potentially awkward position. If, in order to connect with their newly expanded audiences, they are forced to ramp up the volume and fall back on the usual rock-star tricks, then something special is in danger of being lost.
Despite this, there were more than enough dazzling highlights in last night’s show – from originals such as the gloriously tumbling Tamacun to spirited covers from Metallica, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and even Dave Brubeck – to satisfy the faithful and convert the newcomer alike.