--Astillero Tango, August 16, 2007, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Allard van der Hoek made photos of Astillero Tango in 'De Badcuyp', Amsterdam.
Rob Nuijten wrote about his 'Tango de Astillero experience'.

The guys play because they feel an enormous drive to do so. The songs are about the people who live in the margins of the society, who just manage to survive, and about other people's cry for a strong leader who'll save their country from the downwards spiral. The projected video ads pictures to the lyrics.

Tango de Astillero does not pretend to come with solutions. The video however bears a clear warning for the kind of strong leaders that the masses may help support, showing fragments of the movie 'The Great Dictator', by- and with Charly Chaplin, where Chaplin plays the role of the suppressor as well as the role of the suppressed ordinary man.

I experienced their music as violent and beautifull. There're only few moments where the audience get's a chance to relax.

Julian Peralta, the pianist, told me that he thinks a pause in the middle of the concert, for the audience to get themselves a drink and have a chat, and 'a break' would also cause an undesired break in the buildup of the concert. When you go to a gallery, you don't look at one half of a painting, have a break, have a drink, and then look at the other half. For them, a concert is one story, one image, one feeling, one idea, that is best shared in one piece.

I must say, after this one hour and 20 minute concert, I was completely satisfied. I had not felt any necessity for a break, nore had I any idea of what could still be done áfter a break. The concert was so intense, that I think I felt like every note played found its way to my mind and body, causing disturbance, pleasure, fear and trust, emotions, exitement. The experience could not be bettered, only be worsened by adding any stuff.

The music was, although mostly violent, always played delicatly, meaning: mighty skilled. The singer knew exactly what he was doing with his microphone. He found the perfect distance in regard of the varied volume of the instruments of the orchestra, and during the very silent phrases he would not even use the mike at all. Every word was heard, never he shouted, never he seemed to fake emotion.

The music is in their heads, in their arms, in their feet, in their hearts. The guys express themselves small sheets of paper in front of them just showed the order of the songs, not the notes. The music came out of thém. I immagined myself dancing, horizontal movements, as in a knife-fight, building up tension and releasing it, controlled. The music surprises me, but never puts me on the wrong leg. It feels natural from the first to the last note. This is the Tango music of this moment. It all feels right in place.

They left me worried.... Will they exite me the same next time, next concert, next year, and in a few years from now? How are they going to solve that problem? What will become of their music when the world has solved its problems and became a better place?
"Good question" the pianist says, while undergoing a Belgian beer tasting experience, later in the bar. "I have no idea. We now play what we play because we feel a need to express ourselves, as artists. We do not think about where we want to go with our music. What we'll play in a few years, time will tell".

It was one of the rare occasions theses days, that I was exited even about there being a CD sold. Why is that so exiting? Because these guys played all new songs, all their own new music. Most new orchestras play arrangements of already wellknown tunes, and often all they show is their playing skills on pieces of well appreciated, but dead composers. Tango de Astillero is alive now, and kicking. The 11 pieces of the CD are all newly written original outstanding pieces of art. Played at home, from your stereoset, it may not be that exiting as during the live concert in De Badcuyp, but I was darn happy that I was able to take a souvenir home, with all the pieces of this concert!

The music is even quite danceable, although violent, as said before. Let's see how the dancers in a next milonga respond to it...

Rob Nuijten, August 18, 2007


Orchestra: Astillero Tango
singer: Peyo, bandoneons: Patricio Bonfiglio + Mariano G. Calo
piano: Julián Peralta
violin: Martijn van der Linden (for this tour through Europe)
violonchello: Leonhard Bartussek,
double bass: Felix Arcángeli

Click for photocollage

See also the review of their concert in
London, July 20
Negracha Tango Club (4 Wild Court, Holborn, London)
Click here

Visit the orchestras website for samples of its music.