We’re sitting on the terrace of the Hotel Madrid in Gran Canaria’s amazing old quarter of Vegueta waiting to interview the founder member and lead guitarist of rising stars of the Spanish Indie rock scene, The Good Company; Víctor Ordóñez.
“Do you think this could be him?” asks Jack.
I turn around and see a slim thirty-something guy with a close cropped beard and designer shades strolling across the plaza, hands plunged deep into pockets. He’s practically got ‘Rock Star’ tattooed on his forehead.
“Hi! Great to meet you!” says Víctor in a near perfect English accent, raising his shades and embracing me warmly.
We’ve come to Gran Canaria for the day to interview Víctor and to explore the pulsating rhythm of Las Palmas, the city he was born and grew up in. Pounding the pavements of this bustling, lively capital, we discover a unique amalgamation of the old, the urban, the cool and the chic; it’s a city that blends tradition with innovation and fittingly, that’s exactly what The Good Company do with their music.
“The Good Company are half UK and half US influenced,” says Víctor. “The Beatles and those classic sixties sounds and conceptually Pink Floyd. But also Hip Hop and particularly a Canadian Indie rock band called Arcade Fire, one of David Bowie’s favourite bands.”
I can see what he means. Listening to The Good Company’s first album ’28’, I’ve been playing ‘spot the influences’; overtones of U2 on A City Shines; echoes of Kaiser Chiefs in Busy Town; the Pink Floyd strains of Víctor’s guitar and Radiohead vocals of Sergio Pueyo in the haunting Endless, which ironically, I’ve found myself playing endlessly. But no individual sound emerges as the blueprint; all those flavours have been absorbed and fused into something fresh and original.
In the heat of the late afternoon we move from the Hotel Madrid to the charismatic bar El Cuasquías where it feels like I should be carrying a guitar, or at very least someone’s amp before I can get in. Perched at the bar we order cold Tropical beers and Víctor tells us about the bands that play here and hints at some of the stories the walls could tell, no doubt set to their own Grammy Award winning soundtrack.
We’re listening to the coolest sounds I’ve heard outside of my own living room since we moved to Tenerife 6 years ago; Indie rock, Jazz, R&B, Soul and Blues weave their rhythms around us making it increasingly difficult to consider the possibility of missing the last flight back to Tenerife as anything other than a minor inconvenience.
Along with Víctor, fellow Gran Canarians Sergio Miró (drums) and Marco Valero (bass); and Barcelona born Sergio Pueyo (vocals) make up The Good Company. With reviews in the music press and on La Sexta TV consistently hailing them as a band to watch, these guys are rapidly making a name for themselves on the Spanish Indie Rock scene.
They’re playing Dublin and Bristol right about now and they’ll be at The Forum in Barcelona on the 28th May 2010.
Check them out on MySpace and Facebook.