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Banda Do Casaco - Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos CD (album) cover

HOJE HÁ CONQUILHAS, AMANHÃ NÃO SABEMOS

Banda Do Casaco

 

Prog Folk

4.20 | 42 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nº 403

Banda Do Casaco is a Portuguese progressive folk band which was active from 1974 to 1984. It was considered by many, critics and public, as one of the Portuguese greatest progressive rock bands of all times. After the failure of the Filarmónica Fraude musical project, more for political reasons than for quality reasons, António Pinho (vocals) and Luís Linhares (keyboards) joined with ex-Musica Novarum band's member Nuno Rodrigues (vocals and guitar) and Celso de Carvalho (cello and double bass) to form a new group named Banda Do Casaco. Many guest musicians passed through the band in their active musical period of life, and many used the band as a springboard to their own musical careers.

The debut studio album of Banda Do Casaco was "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios". It was released in 1975. It was a conceptual album very irreverent and innovative that shocked with the more traditional canons of the time. The band's debut album wasn't exactly well received by the usual folk critics and fellow artists. In those times, in Portugal, we lived in a very troubled revolutionary political period and the album wasn't considered properly a revolutionary musical work. Albeit, as Pinho said in an interview, Banda Do Casaco was much more on the left side than the artists who brought revolutionary flags because they used a protest language much more elaborated.

So, while the group fiercely defended their debut musical work on stage, in the studio they were preparing to take a step down by leaving their more controversial and unconventional musical approach for a more typical Portuguese folk album, to begin selling better than their debut. So, the final result was "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" released in 1976, a more conventional work. However, while having its merits, it turns out in comparison with their previous debut work.

And so, it appears the third studio album from the group "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos", which was released in 1977. If on "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" the ethnographic collection of songs, crafted and freely adapted, is still decisive for the final result, this album leans toward a more experimentation into the avant-garde music. The album intended to be a satire to the economic instability and social insecurity in the country. In an album which are very significant the entry to the group of António Pinheiro da Silva and the musical collaborations of the beginners Gabriela Schaaf's voice and Rão Kyao on tenor saxophone, the highlights on the album are the tracks "Acalanto", "País: Portugal" and "Geringonça", which is the first track from the group to features a Mellotron, and as we know, Mellotron is probably the musical instrument that best defines the progressive music. On "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" there are no weak points, really. This is essentially an album that worth by its whole. As with their previous second album, this is also an album full of musical adaptations of Portuguese traditional songs. "Despique", "Alvorada, Tio Lérias", "Geringonça", "Dez-Onze-Doze" and "Ont'À Noite" are those songs. This third album of Banda Do Casaco is today almost unanimously recognized as one of the most fabulous artistic musical productions of that type of music in my country, Portugal. This album is even considered by some persons as their best musical work. In reality, "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" is one of the best jewels of the Portuguese progressive music, especially because Portugal never was really a traditional country of the progressive music. Anyway, I still continue preferring their debut.

Still, "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" has a very incomprehensible story that deserves to be mentioned. The original recordings of the album, pure and simply disappeared, during the turbulent revolutionary political period in my country, and for many years it was thought that it would be completely impossible to reissue it on CD, leaving only this remarkable work within the reach of the rare owners who still retain the original albums. It made that those rare copies became very expensive, turning practically impossible to reach one of them, if they were to sell. Fortunately, it was possible to retrieve it from the vinyl to CD and for the first time this musical work is finally available on CD format.

Conclusion: As I said before, fortunately, "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" is finally available on CD. Acclaimed in 1977 as the best album of the year in Portugal, Banda Do Casaco presents here one of their best works in reinventing their rich musical legacy. As I wrote before, basing part of their repertoire in the traditional Portuguese folk songs, as they have done on their previous studio album, here we have the subversion of the traditional canons of what we normally know as folk songs, reaching their work with surrealistic edges like "Despique" and "Geringonça". In other ones, like "País: Portugal", there are acute musical and lyrical true portraits of Portugal and of its capital Lisbon. Concluding, the complex sounds constructed on this album, place, in my humble opinion, Banda Do Casaco among some the best prog folk bands that appear in the 70's. "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" and especially "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios" are two of the best prog gems of the Portuguese music, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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