Hearing Catrin Finch on harp is one of the many great cultural offerings Wales has to offer. To see her recovery from breast cancer is also stirring, particularly when she told the audience that Cimarrón’s lead harpist and co-fonder of the group, Carlos “Cuco” Rojas had passed away a few weeks prior. Lead singer Ana Veydó has been determined to continue with the tour, knowing it is what her partner would have wanted.
Catrin began within a solo, touching and polished.. The collaboration between both her and Cimarrón is inspired. I’ve a soft spot for Latin-American music and Cimarrón is a golden set of musicians who lift your mood and stir the senses. The band and Catrin play the wonderful funky joropo and llanera of the vast Orinoco plains, music that should be better known. Catrin’s Welsh roots make for a glorious fusion in this rowdy sound world. Getting up and dancing felt like and option. The odd Welsh piece she introduced as saying “most Welsh music is sad, or very sad, or very, very sad, but thankfully this next one is only just sad”, an amusing dig at her heritage.
Ana Veydó makes for a staggering presence on stage. Wearing native clothes and a stunning head-dress made up of flowers and feathers, this is very much the real deal, people. Her earthy, ecstatic voice shocks the senses and leaves you breathless. The humour and passion seen throughout the night is something you wont forget anytime soon. The band comprised a random yet marvellous mix of sounds, electric double bass, guitars, mandolins and even the ethereal, whistle sounds of two sets of antlers. The battling cajon players was one of many highlights, the stomping and dancing others.
It was the unbridled sense of universal musicianship that made this event so staggeringly beautiful.
One is certain that Carlos was looking down with pride.
Catrin Finch returns to St David’s Hall with Seckou Keith & Vishtèn on 12th June 2020, also on tour.
Photo Credit: arrosasarea.eus