Showcasing Sonrisa as an exciting rootsy acoustic trio playing brand new original heartfelt songs, which blend nylon Spanish guitar and infectious latin inspired rhythms with mellow flute and soulful vocals.
This show takes you on an exhilarating journey through the emotions with onstage banter and captivating songs, which one minute pull at your heart strings and the next have you tapping your feet and daring you to join in.
Sonrisa, the trio, comprises, Kath on lead vocals and flute, Ant on acoustic guitar and vocals and Tom on percussion. The majority of songs are written by Ant and Kath, with a handful of traditional and well-known numbers, arranged with Sonrisa's distinctive sound and approach to music and performance.
What our audience are saying about
VERY MUCH ALIVE!
“I loved the variety in your music, so original, touches
of latin and folk, crossed different genres and so hard
to pigeon hole”
“So good to see such talented musicians”
“Thanks for a fantastic show in Dufton last night... everyone had a great time and left very happy.
What a great final show in our Autumn season”
Live & Local at The Verney Institute, Pleasley – Saturday 30 Sept 2023
As I bring my thoughts together on Sunday morning, I soon realise I’m in danger of saying more about what this group are not, rather what they are! That’s because they are quite difficult to describe… quite hard to pin down. In a good way, I hasten to add! A rather nebulous idea to begin a review with, I admit. So, let’s have some facts instead... Sonrisa consist three members. From stage right, they are: Ant (guitar and vocals), Kath (lead vocal and flute), Tom (percussion). Kath starts the show by translating the band name from Spanish to English. The word means ‘Smile’. There. The route is planned. The agenda is set. Allow me to explain.
Before us, are a set of performers with a manifesto that sounds to me like, ‘Life, Friendship and Positivity’. They don’t batter the audience with virtuosity. They could, if they wanted to, but instead prefer to concentrate on strong, clear, easy to like tunes. The sun begins to shine brightly through the opening bars of ‘Cool Café’. Relaxed, melodic and fresh. Seldom have we seen a trio make such a full, all-enveloping sound, worthy of a band line-up with double the personnel! Here’s how they do it:
Firstly, they play all self-composed music. Not only is this rare, admirable and welcome – Kath says, “this is a new one, but then again, to you, I guess they’re all new!” The point is that, playing their own music permits them to say exactly what they want to, without having to re-interpret other songwriters’ work. More importantly, this approach allows them the freedom to tailor the performance in a way that can maximise the sonic influence of all three players.
Secondly, working in well-rehearsed unison, every member contributes a huge variety of ingredients to the overall offering. Seated, playing a gently amplified acoustic guitar, subtly employing a range of electronic effects, Ant also adds both plain octave and harmonic backing vocals that serve to lift the mood dramatically. Kath, centre stage, in sparkly dress and equally dazzling sneakers, delivers a confident, affable, assured vocal performance and focal point. Her frequent flute interjections add another layer of fine musical weather, sometimes riffing along with Ant. Very sixties.
Then! Over at stage left, we find Sonrisa’s ‘secret weapon’ Tom. A percussionist generating such a propellant wave of grooviness, that it ought to be banned by law! He’s a one-man rhythm army who virtually warrants a study and review in his own right, would that there were more space!
The show progresses. Time flies, but there are no flies on these three! Nine or ten songs have already been played, including ‘Heatwave’, ‘Small Town’, Love Me for Me’ and ‘Easy’.
Raffle done, the second half commences and contains another diverse selection of songs with plenty of opportunity for the audience to join in if they want to. ‘Wings’, ‘Laurence’, ‘New Day’ and ‘Dance with Me’, to name just a few. The set proper closes with what must be called Tom’s showpiece, ‘Son de la Loma’.
So, Sonrisa are happy, unaffected players of Latin-infused, Cuban-styling, negativity-defying dance music, and much more besides. But don’t go away with the idea that they are purveyors of vacuous, fluffy, holiday muzak. This they are not. After much work, they’ve intellectually arrived at their central ethos: to lift spirits, banish gloom and put a smile on the face of every single listener that crosses their path. Afterall, as we are reminded, ‘Life’s Too Short’. It truly is.
They, don’t steal, they don’t copy, they don’t imitate. They receive, mix, ferment and serve something entirely original and all of their own. Sonrisa don’t tread anybody else’s path, they do it… ‘Kenilworth Road!’