“There’s something rumbling in the Valencian underground…”
Last year I saw fit to write about the Valencian underground music scene. Or, at least, that’s where it started. The truth is that Spain is in the midst of an alternative music boom, with gigs of both nationally famous and local bands taking place nearly every weekend, filling venues with loyal fanbases.
Just this week basque rockers Berri Txarrak sold out in Barcelona and Valencia. Last month madrileños Toundra had a hugely successful run in Spain and are currently on the UK leg of a European tour. And not to mention the recent flourish in new alternative music festivals, namely in the Valencia area; Deleste, MBC…
It certainly looks like local rock is on the up and up and recent top quality gigs in Valencia have inspired me to revisit the topic of Valencia Underground.
And what better place to start than the anniversary of the Forn Sessions back in November. The gig celebrated the first birthday of the Sessions project created by Valencian recording studio Forn, something that involves recording live performances of bands in their place of practice, in one go, without editing. Groups from the back catalogue of the Forn Sessions took to the stage in Magazine for this mini festival-esque event, with short gigs from garage rock girls Carmonas and Valencian indie-math-rock duo Césped de Verdad. Local rockers Teletexto also took to the stage to play songs from new release La Película with Acapvlco opening the show and powering through an enjoyable “beach grunge” set. Check out the Forn Sessions Tumblr to see videos of all their recorded performances, plus videos from other local groups including Negro and Derrota.
We can’t talk about music in Valencia without mentioning the untimely demise of garage punk rock quartet Carmonas. Their break up was announced early January much to the despair of fans of their catchy, rapid-fire tunes. *single tear rolls down face*
Key members of the scene in Valencia for the past couple of years, Carmonas also came in at number 15 on Rolling Stone’s Abriendo puertas: 20 nuevas bandas nacionales feature this year, alongside big Spanish names such as Hinds and Belako.
You can now listen to Carmonas on Spotify. Weirdly enough, their album has only been available to stream post-break up.
Carmonas‘ penultimate gig took place in Magazine last month where they opened for local rockers Retraseres who played a set full of fast-paced punk rock numbers from their newly released album Grandes Éxitos Vol. III.
Another interesting gig took place this week in Magazine, this time the turn of Cuello + Chesterton. Sepia favourites Cuello took the opportunity to play a run of previously unheard songs from their upcoming album, which they’re due to record at the end of this month. Well received by the crowd, the new tracks seem to follow the same style as previous albums Mi Brazo Que Te Sobre  and Modo Eterno : very loud, very catchy, somewhat original punk rock. The show culminated with a selection of older, more well known songs, much to the delight of the sizeable crowd who were more than ready to dance and sing along. Fellow valencianos Chesterton were the band invited to open the show.
As you may have noticed, Magazine Club often plays the role of central hub of all things rock in Valencia. To grab a slice of the pie, keep an eye on this cracking gig venue in the Juan Llorens neighbourhood of Valencia – concerts are regularly announced over on their Facebook page. But we can’t forget other venues in Valencia that also offer frequent shows such as Wah Wah, El Loco, 16 Toneladas and La Rambleta. The latter, whose sound system is hard to rival, is the multi-storied venue for the coveted Deleste Festival – another key player in the Valencia live music scene. Last year’s edition brought various national names to the terreta including Nueva Vulcano, Za!, Pony Bravo and El Columpio Asesino.
Though not strictly “underground”, here’s another gig for your agenda. Valencian ska-punk ensemble La Pulquería return from their hiatus next month to perform a a string of shows to honour the 10th anniversary of album Corridos de Amor  .
Let’s keep it up, Valencia. Give me a reason to do part 3.
Read the first installment of Valencia Underground here.
13th February – Berri Txarrak + Smoking Souls @ La Rambleta
19th February – Vialka + Césped de Verdad @ La Residencia
27th February – Fiesta Presentación San San Festival: Triángulo de Amor Bizarro + Reno @ Sala Wah Wah
6th March – La Pulquería @ Sala Noise
3rd-5th April – MBC Fest (Betunizer, Za!, Hinds, Sr. Chinarro…) @ Puerto de Sagunto
30th April – Nueva Vulcano @ La Rambleta.
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