Café Barcelona World Music Nights

By Lettie Mckie

Café Barcelona celebrated their first year with a World Music Festival featuring Gipsy Swing, Fado, Latin and Flamenco music put together by owners Javier and Claudia who are both renowned performers on the world music scene.

Javier’s band Alma Gitana (Gipsy Soul) performed an unforgettable night of Flamenco.  Dinner was available beforehand, and as we arrived a few customers were enjoying Claudia’s gorgeous Portuguese custard tarts for dessert, washed down with a cooling bottle of Spanish lager Estrella. By 8.30pm the room was packed, with standing room only. 

Alma Gitana is dancer Lourdes Fernandez, singer Javier Moreno, guitarist Andres Garcia and percussionist Ayoze de Alejandro who have been performing together for about two years. The set was made up of their own compositions plus well-known Spanish and Flamenco songs. The first few numbers were hauntingly beautiful the trickling sound of the guitar and gentle tap of clapped hands combining perfectly with Javier’s vocals. As Lourdes began dancing, a few songs in, the tempo noticeably changed, each piece building on a crescendo of frenzied foot stomping that had many of the audience joining in.

Lourdes is an extremely accomplished zapateado (food-stomping) dancer, her steps perfectly in time despite the gathering speed of the music. The joy of the evening was the way the band and dancer worked in a harmony from gentle beginnings to euphoric crescendo. 

344 Streatham High Rd SW16 6HH 020 8769 9169