If you type ‘alternative rock’ into Google translate, it’ll give you Vetusta Morla. Tonight the Spanish six-piece prove to Scotland that even if you don’t understand the lyrics, there is no losing out on emotion. The lead singer, known simply as Pucho, dances around the stage in such an elaborate way, it’s not difficult to feel compelled to join in. This being said, it isn’t just the idiosyncratic body movements of the singer, resembling some sort of floaty rock ballet, which bring the show to life. The uniformity, tightness and slick instrumental skills of the band play a big part too.
The crowd, which is easily at least 90% Spanish, is so encapsulated by the music that the bar and toilets are eerily empty throughout the performance. There are sing-a-longs so full that in parts, the walls of the venue buzz solely from the echoing trills of excitable Spanish fans.
The grand scale of Vetusta Morla’s Spanish fan base may seem overwhelming, but this only makes the dance floor more inviting. Opening their set with the song which titles their new EP, La Deriva, it becomes evident that this is the type of band which don’t need to rely on old classics to keep an away-from-home crowd happy. This justifies the long queue up Victoria Street, which everyone seemed not to mind standing in for an hour during a chilly Scottish October evening.
There’s a strangeness which comes with watching a whole show without understanding a single lyric, yet not feeling at all lost in translation. You know very quickly what the context of each song is here, based on a combination of Vetusta Morla’s on-point sound, their theatrical dancing and the crowd’s even more arousing off-stage hustle. It’s safe to say that the Liquid Room becomes a bit of a jolly sweat fest by the end of the night, but nothing you wouldn’t want to do all over again.