Sunday, 6 June 2010

London Tango Orchestra

The London Tango Orchestra: I've just been to their second ever gig, as I happen to live in the area, and they were actually not bad at all. They're a 12-piece Orquesta Típica, the Argentine equivalent of the big band, with a pianist, double bass, cello, five violins, three bandoneons, and an singer.

The problem with an Orquesta Típica is the enormous amount of upfront investment it takes - five months of rehearsals doesn't come close to getting you an evening's repertoire, that would probably take about two years. But although they need a lot more repertoire, they know what a dance band is, and they apparently are one. I'd have been happy to dance to all the dance music they played, if there had been anyone to dance with. But there wasn't, so I quietly supped my pint and nodded my head. They played with a lot of spirit, I felt the bandoneon section could use strengthening, but it's there and it's all home-grown.

They also played a few concert pieces, so there's no knowing which way they'll go; rewards for being a dance band may be limited and concert music is usually more interesting to musicians. But all the dance stuff had the audience (non-dancers) wriggling a bit and tapping their feet.

I gather that this is the first attempt at forming an Orquesta Típica in the UK. They were greeted with interest in East London. Give them a go, if the opportunity arises.


Anonymous said...

They are at Chiswick Town Hall on the 30th June via Tango Federico. Although I no longer dance with him, I would go to the concert if I was in town that night, but sadly not. Details on my dance calendar.

arrabaltango said...

I was there as well & I would say that they were extremely promising. Incidentally, I looked around at the female footwear & came to the conclusion there was nobody there who could dance tango [I'm the guy who was doing the recording - & I was wearing Cuban heels]. Another bloke who wanted to dance as well came to the same conclusion [by looking @ the women's shoes]. Shame, since it was a good floor as well! So now you know how to broadcast your capability…..

msHedgehog said...