Faithful to our meeting with the Cantabrian summer, Santander Music 2017 welcomed us again with a ninth edition in which the names of Los Planetas, The Vaccines or spanish band Lori Meyers stood out, as well as international proposals such as Nothing but Thieves, Roosevelt or M.Ward.
Thursday August 3
Precisely the American would be in charge of opening the festival with a performance that did not seemed to start before a scarce public. With the only help of his guitar and before a mastodontic stage that did not help at all his delicate proposal, the California chose a setlist in which he toured his extensive discography and tiptoed for his latest album More Rain (2016). Among songs such as "Rollercoaster", small nods to Johnny Cash with stanzas from "Rock Island Line" and speeches in which he talked about his travels around the north of Spain, the concert was slowly passing with a deep sleep among the public. For those who have seen and enjoyed it in smaller venues or concerts, the show on the Cantabrian capital was a one to forget.
M.Ward – Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
Better reception had the locals Los Deltonos minutes later, despite the fact that their presence was not very much in line with the style of the rest of the bands of the line up. Commanded by an immense Hendrick Röver in his frontman position, their mix of blues and rock was from more to less because of a monotony in rhythms that made us lose interest halfway through the concert. By the time that at the end of the show they dedicated "Brindemos" to the recently deceased Sam Shepard, the people were already more aware of the food and find a good space for Sidonie than in their show.
Hendrik Röver, Los Deltonos– Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
Sidonie were the big headliners of the day and fulfilled with greatness. With an eminently festive concert in which they interspersed songs from his last album El peor grupo del mundo (2016) with hits from their already long discography, the band of Marc Ros and company showed how to move a whole festival, as they sing in the autobiographical “Carreteras Secundarias”. With a solid formation of up to 5 members on stage, also helped in the second part of the concert by an omnipresent pipe, the Catalans had a walkabout with themes such as “Siglo XX”, “No se dibujar un perro” or “Sierra y Canadá”, but without a doubt the ecstasy would arrive with Marc singing in the middle of the crowd “Un dia de mierda”. Their longest-running fans we still miss a visit to their first albums where they sang in English with that wonderful sitar or a surprise like “Feelin' Down” or “On the Sofa”, but the rhythm they print to each of their concerts makes us forgive them almost anything for the sake of a massive party..
Sidonie – Photo made by Esther Vicente for Indieófilo©
The two names that we had more desire to enjoy on Thursday came then, and to our surprise, more than half of the public head for their way to the exit toward home. This allowed us to find a good place ourselves in the front ranks without any hassle waiting for the British Nothing But Thieves, authors of a more than remarkable homonym album in 2015 and that in the last years have been supporting to groups of the size of Muse in their last world-wide tour. To our misfortune, his sound was weighed down by the continuous problems on the guitar of Joe Langridge-Brown, especially in their first songs, which tarnished some of their best known songs like "Ban All the Music" or "Wake Up Call". Halfway through the show, just with the catchy "Itch", their sound improved to delivered us a final 20 minutes of high level, in which highlighted the chameleon voice of Conor Mason and "Amsterdam", one of the few previews in the setlist of their new album Broken Machine (2017) that will be released in September.
Conor Mason, Nothing but Thieves – Photo made by Esther Vicente for Indieófilo©
Those responsible for closing the first day were the Germans Roosevelt, which we could see last June at Barcelona’s Sónar de día 2017. Due to a considerable delay regarding to the original schedule, the band led by Marius Lauber acted to barely 100 people under a few games of lights that didn’t favor their colorful proposal. If at Barcelona’s festival they won the public from the first minute thanks to the rhythm and the joy of their songs, at Cantabrian lands they did not manage to transmit the same feelings to the public, that only responded slightly with the hit "Colours".
Friday August 4
Rodrigo Caamaño, Triángulo Amor Bizarro – Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
The second day of the Santander’s festival began for us with Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, which offered a powerful concert focused on their latest album Salve Discordia (2016). With the volume at a very high level, and with the distortions of guitars and bass as real protagonists, the Galicians demonstrated once again the good form of a live that does not seem to have fissures and in which we personally enjoy the themes where Isabel Cea is the main voice for the different tones that it brings to the general sound. Their grand finale with "Baila Sumeria", “Barca quemada” and “De la monarquía a la criptocracia” is unstoppable.
J, Los Planetas – Photo made by Esther Vicente for Indieófilo©
Los Planetas were the big name of this ninth edition and they demonstrated it, adding 20 minutes more to the initial schedule of the show and probing that their disappointing concert at FIB 2017 has only been an anecdote in a year full of more than remarkable shows. After the usual start with the catchy "Islamabad", in which J dedicated a sarcastic words to "The mayors of the beautiful city of Santander, the family Botín", the band from Granada centered the first third of the concert on their last album Zona temporalmente autónoma (2017) and in some of the themes of La leyenda del espacio (2007), including the iconic “Corrientes circulares en el tiempo”, one of the few moments of fun for the less bitter fans of the band, that indeed filled up the festival probably attracted by the supposed social prestige of approaching to see J’s band.. It would be precisely this type of audience the one that would gradually abandon the first rows when the band began to play not so popular themes of their discography as “Deberes y privilegios”, “Montañas de basura” o “Parte de lo que me debes”, in which Florent and J showed a great shape. A good part of the audience would return for a sublime final 35 minutes, which started with J detaching from the guitar to sing in a felt “Santos que yo te pinte”, thus giving the starting signal to a series of hits like “Segundo premio”, “Un buen día”, “José y yo” or “Alegrías del incendio”. With all the audience fall head over heels for the band, the encores would be a walkabout to achieve a massive karaoke in “Pesadilla en el parque de atracciones” and “De viaje”, perfect end to a memorable concert in which despite missing some more songs from Pop (1994), Super 8 (1996) or some visits to the disappeared Una ópera egipcia (2010), we were able to enjoy about 100 minutes of the best Los Planetas.
Justin Young, The Vaccines – Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
Although if Santander Music 2017 could presume about a great international name on its line up this were the Londoners The Vaccines, the next band that will play at the stage of La Campa de la Magdalena. Despite starting very lively with some of their more recognized hits like "Wrackin 'Bar (Ra Ra Ra)", "Teenage Icon" or "Dream Lover", the first part of his show was struck by a low general volume, which greatly faded the rapid rhythms of the English. When around the middle of the show the volume of guitars had reached the minimum desired level, the juiciest part of the setlist had already passed and only some small pills like "20/20", "All in White" or the incredible final trio with "I Always Knew", "If You Wanna" and "Norgaard" showed us the high level we have been accustomed by Justin Young's band. It was a shame because the English quartet did their best and enjoyed the approval of a young audience that filled the front rows.
Saturday August 5
The last day of the Santander festival started in the middle of the afternoon at crowded calle del Sol to enjoy the show of Bigott. His was a concert full of rhythm in which the guy from Zaragoza gave free rein to all the extravagances that usually accompany him and in which we could listen songs from his long discography. Of course, the concert would end up with that timeless anthem that is "Cannibal Dinner" and with Bigott delivering smiles and selfies with anyone who wants to approached him.
Anni B Sweet – Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
Already at Campa de la Magdalena, and with the rain falling on the Santander’s grounds, Anni B Sweet was responsible for opening the main stage. In a somewhat monotonous concert with a not very successful setlist in which many songs sounded similar, the woman from Malaga had her best moments as soon as she got rid of her intimate songs to approach to her more rock accelerated side like in "Chasing Illusions".
Noni, Lori Meyers – Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
Shortly after, and after the breaker and eclectic halftime between electrocumbia and dembow provided by the Grenadian DJs Caballito, their countrymen Lori Meyers turned up the festival with a magnificent concert both for their set design and for a setlist in which they perfectly mixed all their hits with a lot of songs of their last album En la Espiral (2017). With the help of an impressive widescreen LCD screen that occupied the foreground, in some songs covering the stage and in others projecting images that accompanied the band from the top of the stage, Noni and company showed that their new album has much more force live force that in album format and that songs like “Evolución” or “Todo lo que dicen de ti” match perfectly with the classics of the band that made the crowd went mad, especially those pertaining to the distant Cronolánea (2008) like “Alta fidelidad”, “Luces de neón” and “Luciérnagas y mariposas”.
Josu, Belako – Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
In a 180 degree turn, the festival seemed to synchronize with a foul weather to provide the necessary dark atmosphere before the impressive performance of the Basques Belako. Under a torrential rain, Mungia's band demonstrated why they are the great promise (or rather reality) of the music in Spain and confirmed all the good that they showed in their evening performance of the past FIB. With a very balanced setlist in which they visited almost equally their two published albums, in addition to advancing some songs of their awaited new album Render Me Numb, Trivial Violence (September 2017), the guys from Mungia highlighted with a clear and powerful sound achieved specially thanks to Lore's abilities at the bass guitar and Lander at the drums. It is hard to remark only one moment of their show, but "Zaldi Baltza" with Josu to the voices and the new theme "Over the Edge", with the whole band in golden jackets, were two of the moments of the festival.
La Casa Azul – Photo made by Víctor Ramos for Indieófilo©
With the raining going down was the turn of La Casa Azul, who after the release of their awaited new album, offered a concert in which they played one after another those pop pills that we like. After a somewhat calm first part in which we could enjoy "Podría ser peor”, “Siempre brilla el sol” or a heartfelt “Como un fan” interpreted by Guille alone at the piano, the concert gave a festive turn when they played “No más Myolastan”. From here on, and with the help of songs such as “Esta noche sólo cantan para mí” or “Los chicos hoy saltarán a la pista”, the concert was accelerated to finish with the mythical “La revolución sexual”, perfect brooch for a Santander Music 2017 that despite not receiving as much affluence as in previous years showed an enviable quality on its lineup and that is preparing to celebrate its tenth anniversary in all the high in 2018.