Echemos abajo la estación del tren!

saicos(As if this Blog needed to get any more niche…)

Music a bit thin on the ground these days, partly because I’ve been tied up with a few work-y things and partly because we’re preparing for another trip to Spain. The prospect of a Spanish holiday tends to see me hysterically trying to poke my moribund Spanish into life again, and in this particular case it has involved most of my prime CD-listening time (driving around) being spent listening to language tapes etc.

I’m also trying to read a few Spanish articles, though, and as a result came across this breathless fan-interview from earlier in the year with the great Erwin Flores. To be honest, the interview spends rather too much time pondering whether Los Saicos were the first punk band. But Flores himself comes across as a fairly decent type who can’t quite believe his Saicos days are still remembered.

Tatatatatatata yayayaya!

Los Saicos

As any fule know, Los Saicos, when not blowing up train stations, spent 1964-66 releasing six… er… “highly distinctive” singles in Peru. Records that sound today something like the proto-punk of the Trashmen or the Monks, or possibly the soon-to-arrive garage punk wave of the US, all of which Flores claims the band were completely unaware of at the time.

The best example of their sound is this, the truly feral “Demolición”:

 

No, really. 1964.

In Lima.

Two years of hugely unlikely success, (including, bizarrely, their own TV show) until enough was truly enough. Los Saicos packed it in and disappeared. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they were pretty quickly forgotten, until recently-attained cult status and general renewed interest prompted the brilliant Munster Records to release a compilation of all six singles with their b-sides. A friend gave me a copy of this a couple of years, and I’ve grown to treasure it. Some of the songs are a little softer but all are as raw, unhinged and just plain daft as “Demolición”.

And now, well, it’s all on again, apparently.

Los Saicos tour occasionally, including dates in Spain, Saicomania, a documentary film about the band, has been released in the US and Erwin Flores was earlier this year filmed on stage with Barcelona psych-band Mujeres.

 

Looks a lot of fun…