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Postcard from... Madrid


Spain’s ageing rockers are officially in mourning after Barricada, one of the country’s best-known hard rock bands – who have ruined teenage eardrums and provoked parental cries of “Turn that racket down!” for more than a generation, began their Farewell Tour in their home town of Pamplona.

Barricada’s 31-year history includes 20 albums, with sales over a million records. They became a byword for hard rock in Spain.The band has had to quadruple the number of concerts after their sole farewell performance sold out in hours.

On Friday, a 3,500-strong audience sang themselves hoarse as Barricada opened with songs from their first LP Noche de Rocanrol (Night of Rock’n’Roll) and continued with other classics such as “Contra La Pared” (Up against the Wall) and “Animal Caliente” (Hot Animal).

After charismatic lead singer El Drogas left following musical disagreements with the rest of the band a couple of years back, many said the band was finished. Barricada said it was actually the recent announcement that another band member would be quitting which marked the group’s real death knell.

As guitarist Alfredo Piedrafita explained to Spanish newspaper El País – in terms  that could have been lifted from infamous spoof rockumentary This is Spinal Tap – “We had two and a half singers and when we lost one, the one and a half singers left still sounded like Barricada. But then we lost another one we only had half a singer left. We couldn’t even think about continuing.”