Monday 11 May 2015

On Stage: Tito and Tarantula

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

Of course most of us know the legendary "snake dance" scene in Quentin Tarantino's From Dusk 'Til Dawn where Salma Hayek sensually dances to Tito and Tarantula's 'After Dark'. This song ended up on the Tarantism album which was hard to get the last few years in Europe. A completely remastered version was recently released and Tito got some of his old friends together with some new friends for a tour. Time to get reacquainted with them.

Tito and Tarantula at Melkweg Amsterdam, May 6 2015

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

It can be a blessing or a curse that your composition becomes a cult classic, since it can get you a lot of exposure, but at the same time it may all people know you from. Halfway the show Tito Larriva is telling everyone with a big smile on his face, that we have to wait for the famous song and that there are still some other songs to play. The friendly Mexican born singer and guitar player doesn't seem to mind people may only know him from this movie score. But it would be unfair to give him credit for just that, since he scored more movies, some for his friend director Robert Rodriguez's movies and wrote plenty of other songs. Tonight they prove to be a versatile band, playing diverse songs from Americana to blues rock, and country to stoner. He got original members guitar player Peter Atanasoff and drummer Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez to join, but especially female bass player Lolita Caroll is drawing a lot of attention with her sexy appearance.

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

Together the band turns this night into a very pleasant one with great music and a lot of laughs. Larriva comes across as a very modest and friendly man that likes a good laugh. It could be that they visited a coffee shop earlier today, but the band seems to be in good spirits. Larriva's hoarse and weathered voice is perfect for the bluesy and rootsy songs that are mostly about love and death, where ballads and roaring rock songs are alternating. What most of the songs have in common is a dark atmosphere and sometimes they will reveal the band's Mexican background. Larriva now and then will explain what the song is about, like the story of 'Killing Just For Fun' about his class mate in school that turned into a serial killer. At the end of the show it's finally time for 'After Dark' that in the end turns into a pleasant chaos where people are invited to dance on stage and Larriva passes his guitar to someone at the front to join in with a short solo.

Photo courtesy of Plat & Blauw

After a short break the band returns with a enthusiastic performance of that other song in From Dusk Till Dawn, 'Angry Cockroaches', that seems to turn into "stoned cockroaches" but is a great version nevertheless. Larriva calls it a strange night somewhere in the show, I don't know why. It certainly was a fun night, with great music and good vibes. Hopefully they can win over some more fans so that in the end they won't just be remembered for only that one famous movie moment.

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Because I forgot my camera I borrowed some pictures from the website Plat & Blauw.

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