While the Spanish fall over in the rush to get tickets, the guiris are all asking ‘who’? You might have a better idea who this Basque lady is if we tell you that until 2007, she was was the lass that gave voice to La Oreja de Van Gogh, one of the biggest Spanish acts of the last decade, and the 18th biggest selling of all time.
With Amaia on vocals, Van Gogh’s Ear achieved eleven number Spanish number one singles, and also hit the top with all four studio albums, with the third, Lo que te Conté Mientras te Hacías la Dormida, particularly sealing their international reputation by going platinum in the USA too. In 2007, she left the group to concentrate on a solo career, and was replaced by Leire Martínez. The change of frontlady has done nothing to damage the country’s appreciation of the band, who have since had another five number one singles and two number one albums.
In the meantime, Montero’s solo career has if anything been even more successful. Her self-titled debut album of 2008, for which she wrote all the songs, sold 40,000 copies in a week and the first single, Quiero Ser, broke the record for the longest run at the top of the Spanish charts, 13 weeks. The songs ‘4’ and Quiero Decirte Una Cosa also made it to the top spot, and last year, as well as topping the charts with her charity cover of Abba’s Chiquitita, she recorded her second album at the same Eastwest Studio in Los Angeles where Frank Sinatra made My Way and the Beach Boys produced Pet Sounds.
The result, Amaia Montero 2, spent an incredible 16 weeks at the top of the Spanish chart. The second single, Tu mirada, has just been released and the video is a wonderful tribute to her home city of San Sebastian, the city where she’s starting her tour. From there she’s doing Bilbao and Madrid, and after a quick jaunt around Mexico, will be back for a night in the Palau de la Muscia.
Her solo stuff is not too far removed from what she used to belt out of the Van Goghs, generally upbeat and emotionally charged pop ballads – harmless easy on the ear sentimentalism that would feel quite at home on any Disney soundtrack. The show includes almost all the content of her two solo albums, plus some oldies from her Van Gogh days.
Incidentally, La Oreja de Van Gogh, without Montero of course, are also touring Spain at around about the same time this year, including free concerts in Zaragoza and Valencia.
Did you know: This short tour of five Spanish cities was cut down to two in February when the opening night in Granada was cancelled because construction of the stage show failed to meet the deadlines – but she promised to be back in Granada later this year.
Friday March 2, 2012 San Sebastian Kursaal
Sunday March 3, 2012 Bilbao Teatro Arriaga
Wednesday March 6, 2012 Madrid Teatro Circo
Thursday March 22, 2012 Barcelona Palau de la Musica Catalana