Miguel Poveda is currently one of the most popular flamenco singers. With a warm soulful voice, he possesses a strong technique and a charming presence on stage that he exploits to make each of his concerts a unique musical event. On his participation in this year London Flamenco Festival he gave an unforgettable performance that will surely be treasured by the enthusiastic crowd that packed the Sadler’s Wells that night.

Miguel Poveda © Maxi Del Campo
Miguel Poveda
© Maxi Del Campo

The concert started with an astonishing simplicity. Singing a cappella during the first notes of the show, Poveda used his naked but subtly rich voice to introduce the tenor of the evening. His quiet singing announced no tricks or artifices but honest portrayal of emotions. Poveda never betrayed this intention. On no occasion did he seek gratuitous admiration from the audience but shared his talent with generosity and delight.

The repertory of the evening included a varied selection of songs, ranging from the more cheerful malegueñas and alegrías to the more sorrowful bulerías and soleás. Different parts of Andalusia were musically evoked and legends of flamenco like Camarón de la Isla, Enrique Morente, Lole y Manuel or Paco de Lucía, to whose immortal memory Poveda dedicated the performance, were warmly recalled. Each song was performed with love and dedication, allowing its essence to be revealed without haste. Poveda explored the musical material liberally, enlarging and shortening the contour of the melody through endless variations, all stimulating and full of nuances. The lyrics of the songs (always a mixture of lyricism and folk wisdom) were pronounced with pristine clarity; no syllable was missed amid the emotive meandering of flamenco sounds.

Miguel Poveda © Maxi Del Campo
Miguel Poveda
© Maxi Del Campo

Poveda shared the stage with three great musicians. Juan Gómez ‘Chicuelo’ at the guitar, ‘El Londro’ at voice and palmas, and Carlos Grilo at voice, palmas and guitar supported the vocalist with precision, sincerity and affection. Flamenca La Lupi, dancing some of the songs, provided the show with joy, grace and humour.

The concert finished the same way it had started. With no accompaniment, Poveda sung a beautiful quiet song with such richness and subtlety that the auditorium fell reverently silent for the last time during the evening. Poveda’s voice bid the enthralled public farewell with the same power and freshness that it had introduced the recital more than two hours earlier. 

*****