Random wavings on the musical wind

Sometimes it’s beneficial to take yourself out of your comfort zone and although reminiscent of two wild flowers breaking through the weeds next to a tombstone, not least because we were both sporting pink, it wasn‘t an uncomfortable feeling being the obvious non-rock chicks at a rock gig.

There was no need to ask the inked-up audience what their favourite colour might be — it would only ever be black — but what was unusual about the 40somethings who packed La trastienda last Tuesday (December 29) to see their guitar heroes of the 1990s, 7 Delfines, was just how staid they were.

Which is why likening the audience to tombstones is not an unfair comparison. Head nodding and finger tapping aside, they remained firmly rooted to the ground. Plenty of single men mouthed along to Paradigma, No me iré and eponymous title track from latest album Carnaval de fantasmas (2008), but they did it silently, too shy to really go for it and bellow out the lyrics with the die-hard passion their appearance might allow them to.

7 Delfines have been around for nigh on 20 years but their low-fi 80s rock clearly attracted a certain type of fan when they started out in 1990: the shy, floppy haired male predecessor to the 21st century Emo, probably not very good at chatting up girls and with a pallid skin tone because of an unhealthy aversion to daylight.

Led by Argentine rock royalty of sorts, Richard Coleman, a guitarist and vocalist who spent the decade of flamboyant and flammable hairdos playing alongside Argentine rock royalty Gustavo Cerati, Andrés Calamaro, Luis Alberto Spinetta and Charly García, Coleman finally set up what was to become his own four-piece in the coastal town of Villa Gesell that summer, a four-piece that currently comprises Braulio D’Aguirre (drums), Germán Lentino (bass) and Diego García (guitar and backing vocals).

If the crowd weren’t tombstones, then perhaps a less abrasive comparison is a forest of sycamore trees (also known as the martyrs’ tree, the sycamore seems appropriate because the crowd seemed like it didn’t want to be there but had begrudgingly forced themselves to shell out and turn up for some dark and mysterious reason).

But during the 22-song show, a peculiar force of nature kept occurring. A musical breeze would suddenly select a sycamore at random and up its branches went, waving frantically on the lyrical wind but just as quickly subsiding. But at no point did that breeze take a firm grip of several trees and cause them to sway in unison, or even try to uproot themselves.

The band ticked all the boxes: they were energetic, Coleman was in tune, they knocked out favourites and played as many tracks as Depeche Mode did at this year’s Personal Fest, but the crowd just never let themselves go. In the end it was those two wild flowers who fluttered about more vigorously than their sycamore counterparts.

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