The Cuban band, Los Van Van, stormed into the Arts Centre on Wed Aug 11th, giving its fans a generous infectious blast of Caribbean sound.
Formed forty years ago, the band has a long and vigorous history of innovation, adding trombones and vocals to the more traditional charanga sound (flute, violin and piano), and later on, drum machines and synthesisers. The 16 members have clearly played together for years, the co-ordination, ease and authority plain in every note and ultra-smooth movement. Within minutes of starting, most of the audience was on its feet, clapping, swaying and dancing as much as was possible in the rows of seats. All this, together with the constant filming from mobile phones, made actual listening and observation difficult, and note-taking simply out of the question.
This group is about dancing, and they certainly know their trade. Los Van Van is often called the best dance band from Cuba. If it isn’t, I’ll see you in Havana next week.
Los Van Van
with special guests Latin Block Party
Venue: The Victorian Arts Centre
Date: Wednesday 11 August, 2010