Monday, June 27

From the City of London to the Sultanate of Oman

Detail of the cover illustration for ‘Luna de Mayo’. / Andres Merida

Inexpensive music

In ‘Los banqueros’, the Malaga group Tabletom offered its disillusioned vision of the financial system: «The currante saves, the bank is lined»

Carlos Benito

The Tabletom people from Malaga have been for almost half a century one of the open secrets of Spanish music.
They arose in 1976, from a commune that naturally combined the anarchist and the hippie, and his blessing and perhaps his condemnation has been to have in front of one of the most fascinating and excessive personalities of the Andalusian scene (or, in short, worldwide), the vocalist Roberto ‘Rockberto’ González, a libertarian and alien to servitude, schedules and contracts to extremes that made it difficult to fit into the conventional rock business. Tabletom released albums with plenty of genius, impregnated with vitalist flamenco psychedelia, but their best-known song outside their homeland is thanks to others: at the beginning of the 90s, Extremoduro published their celebrated version of ‘I’m taking off’.

Rockberto passed away in 2011 and made the continuity of the group very difficult, which made some creative stumbling blocks until in 2016 he published the solid ‘La luna de mayo’, with Salva Marina as singer. In that album of ‘reconstitution’ figure
‘The bankers’, a song of almost ten minutes that attacks the great predators of finance, in a tone that sounds heir to the global crisis of the previous decade. The lyrics of the song, and those of the entire album, comes from the pen of the Malaga poet Juan Miguel González, who was aware that he was giving birth to a “wood” text, as he commented at the time in El Blog de Father Gorgonzola. Come on, it seems unlikely that they will play ‘Los banqueros’ in the musical thread of the next banking convention.

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Respectable manners

The theme is posed as a riddle on the basis of Andalusian progressive funk, to define them in some way. «This riddle / rhymes with finance. / He who guesses it / who shouts it out loud », proposes the first stanza, after an extensive instrumental introduction. And then he goes on to pose the enigma:
«They take care of manners / but they are jackals. / They are respectable / the very miserable. / Absolute kings, / they despise the laws ». The solution? “You make it easy for me: / the great thieves / of our money / were the bankers.” The rest of the lyrics develop this idea (“fuck with the bankers, / who ran away / and took all the money”) and even includes a quick geography of financial paradises: “From the City of London / and to the Isle of Wight, / Andorra and San Marino, / Hong Kong or Gibraltar. / From Wall Street itself / to the Cayman Islands, / Antigua and Barbuda / and the Sultanate of Oman «. Ah, also »to the Maldives islands / cargaditos they went / and took from ‘esquineli’ / toíto what they could«.

The final summary is in charge of the choir, which provides
his vision disappointed in hexasyllables of the financial system: «The hard worker saves, / the bank is filled. / If he loses the currelo, / embargo and funk ».

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