Spanish rock band Carolina Durante make a surprise appearance in one of the most entertaining Spanish films I’ve seen in recent times, The Wedding Unplanner. (Its Spanish title is Hasta Que La Boda Nos Separe, which means Until The Wedding Do Us Part.)
Their scene takes place on a boat out at sea because the wedding planner – who wants to ruin the wedding – knows that the bride gets seasick easily. Hopefully she’ll vomit over her vows! The picture above is a screengrab from the movie: the guy in the white shirt without a jacket is not a member of the band, he’s the captain of the boat.
In The bride Alexia (played by Silvia Alonso) is the spoilt daughter of a hotel magnate, and Carolina Durante are her favourite band. Her family’s got connections and so …. Carolina Durante are there at the wedding to rock the boat, so to speak.
Why the name Carolina Durante?
The band, consisting of singer vocalist Diego Ibáñez, Martín Vallhonrat (bass), Mario del Valle (guitars) and Juan Pedrayes (drums), formed in 2017 in Madrid. They soon made a name for themselves and their eponymous debut album, released in 2019, did really well. With a name like that, you’d think Carolina Durante was a female artist, but it’s the name of a girl whom Mario fancied in his youth. I wonder what she thinks each time her namesake plays on radio and other media. The band’s official website is here.
Carolina Durante are not for everyone: their music is loud, brash and punky, their lyrics are biting and sarcastic and capture the disillusion of the younger generation. They have shaken up the Spanish music scene in the way that the Sex Pistols did in England, Téléphone in France and CPM 22 in Brazil.
Track one for you
Their most visually striking video is probably this one, No Tan Jóvenes (Not So Young), so I am putting it first; my favourite will come last (so you have to read all the way down)
The concluding lyrics are:
La generación vacía / No estaban altas las expectativas / Pero es que hemos llegado aquí / Es peor de lo que te imaginas.
The empty generation / Expectations were low / But we have arrived here / It’s worse than you imagine.
La generación vacía / La juventud finita / Como cojones hemos llegado aquí? / Clonazepam y vitaminas.
The empty generation / Finite youth / How the hell did we get here? / Clonazepam and vitamins.
Joder, no sé could be translated on a number of levels even though it is a Spanish equivalent of English’s ‘F’ word. If you were feeling low and indifferent, it could be a verbal shrug: Oh well, I don’t know. But if you were feeling more moody and irked, it’s more emphatic …. Mi respuesta a todo es joder, no sé (My response to everything is fuck/shit/hell, I dunno.)
The song is about not yet being 30 years old and already feeling tired, jaded and demotivated.
I asked a nearly 30-something Spanish-speaking friend of mine what he thought of this song and the band’s attitude – it was the first time he’d heard it – and his answer was: I fucking love it!
By far my favourite Carolina Durante song is Espacio Vacío (Empty Space), done in collaboration with a great band from Argentina, El Mató A Un Policía Motorizado (He killed a highway patrolman). Diego Ibáñez of Carolina Durante does most of the vocals, but one minute and 26 seconds into the song you will hear the Argentian band’s bassist and vocalist, Santiago Barrionuevo, take over, as he does again in the slower bit at 2.19. His beautifully measured, melodious voice contrasts nicely with Ibáñez’s more frenetic, whiny output. The man in the video, who is from neither band, does a really great job of expressive movement, even with a crutch.
New-wave synth version
Espacio Vacío is is a remake of the song released in 1985 by an avant garde and not particularly well-known Spanish new wave band, Septimo Sello. Here it is.
Septimo Sello (Seventh Seal) are best known for a song that they recording more as a spoof and joke than anything else, Todos los Paletos Fuera de Madrid – All The Rednecks out of Madrid!
Look out for…
Since discovering Carolina Durante and the more modern version of Espacio Vacío, I’ve become very fond of El Mató A Un Policía Motorizado. I’ll look at them in more depth in a forthcoming post. M5R