Los Tiki Phantoms at Benicassim 2012

July 12, 2012

Los Tiki Phantoms come on stage in matching dress. Black trousers, black shirts, yellow waistcoats… and black skull masks. Is this what Slipknot do on a lads weekend?

The crowd have absolutely no clue what’s about to happen, which immediately makes it exciting. Suddenly, Los Tiki Phantoms burst into some jumpy old-school surf rock with rippling guitar solos and fast, rumbling drum fills. It’s all instrumental and it’s very fun. It’s as if The Venturesgot together for a one-off gig on Día de los Muertos. Yes, that is exactly what people expected to happen.

In between songs, one of the Tiki Phantoms continuously shouts to the largely English crowd in Spanish. It gets a polite response, mainly because they don’t know if he’s asking the time or hailing the dark lord Beelzebub. But hand-clapping is a universal language, and a request for a Conga is understood. The Conga gets stuck at one point and basically becomes a line. Only the British could turn a Conga into a sodding queue! But then everyone started jumping and things were good again.

So what does it take for a Spanish band to fully engage English members of the crowd? A cover of a Norwegian song of course! Their surf guitar version of A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me’ was sung heartily and even the cool people were dancing.

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