Thursday, February 25, 2016


The Leone spaghetti western

Posted by Alvaro Alonso 
February 8, 2016

There was a time when the desert of Almeria became El Dorado, that’s when the Italian director Sergio Leone filmed in 1964 “A Fistful of Dollars”. The Spaghetti western explosion came the following year after the huge success of “For a Few Dollars More”. While The Beatles were disembarking in America, Western films began shooting in places like Tabernas, Guadix (Leone filmed there taking advantage of the station and the old railway network in 1966’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and 1971’s “Duck You Sucker!”). The old sugar factory on the outskirts of Guadix was an ideal place to recreate the Wild West scenario as well as the station of La Calahorra, erected as an embarkation point for the coal mines of Alquife. There scenes from “Once Upon a Time in the West” were filmed. Leone also found ideal sites at Cabo de Gata, ramshackle farmhouses such as the Cortijo del Fraile, districts such as Albaricoques, Nijar, were converted into Mexican towns for a “Few Dollars More. In the desert of Tabernas, in short, three Western towns were constructed and for better or worse  they are still standing today defying the passage of time.

Musically the spaghetti western is attached to the great figure of Ennio Morricone, but also that of Lee Hazlewood. Lo and behold, in the XXI century a rock band from Almería that amalgamates all this imagery and adds other indigenous elements like the song and pop in Spanish, with superb presence of the guitars in the foreground, it appears to dive into an especially and unusual adventure (having backgrounds in Los Pekenikes, Los Brincos, in some areas of Futura Radio and La Frontera) where composing the soundtrack was for an imaginary western of the XXI century. A few times we find original bets. LEONE, or what is the same, Jesus Canet (guitar and vocals), Juan Perez Marina (guitar), Manuel Cahuchola (bass and vocals) and Jesus Alonso (drums) merge styles like the western, the surf, the bolero and Mediterranean songs in a high-risk gamble. But the world belongs to the brave, or so they say.

Someone may think that LEONE is not cool. Nothing is easier to refute. At the recent launch of their latest album of Calexico, the last bastion of the western sound and editing the complete works of the Long Ryders, be incorporated Incidental Hum, the new disc still smoking Glenn Mercer, factotum of the Feelies, it has set a border and desert feel equally with songs that could sign Leone smoothly, like "Beautiful" or "Yuma" disco.

The result of his daring, Leone has published an EP of four songs, where "Ah, the Horror" is put out, and a brand new single "Your Bones" they have had the audacity to also publish on vinyl, like the previous one. In a few months we will have the first full-length Leone video, one of the most refreshing and original proposals in recent years. Ideal for Indian or a disguised Clint Eastwood riding on our deserts, the moors ranging from Granada to Almeria. To discover live the time the sun shines because Leone were in concert in Madrid on February 20th in the Funhouse room (with Perapertú).

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