Rock in Portugal SI

Rock in Portugal

Recognized as a music program for teenagers, in 1980 Luis Filipe Barros’s Rock em Stock (“Rock in Stock”), began to divulge the new sounds of rock made in Portugal. After the successful experiences with Rui Veloso’s Ar de Rock and UHF’s Cavalos de Corrida and À Flor da Pele, and the welcome it received, including on the radio program “Febre de Sábado de Manhã” (“Saturday Morning Fever”) and on the television show “Passeio dos Alegres” (“The Cheerful’s Walk”), both hosted by Júlio Isidro, the path was cleared for a boom they could not have predicted when they divulged a number of more or less ephemeral groups.

The massive divulgation in these two radio programs, broadcast by Rádio Comercial, was quite unlike the divulgation of the national bands that came out in the 60’s: The “Os Conchas” duo, the Portuguese version of the Everly Brothers; Vitor Gomes with his “presleyan” rock n’roll and his Gatos Negros (who never made a record); Rock Zeca; Twist Nelo; the Portuguese Shadows − Conjunto Mistério – and the Titãs (from Aveiro); “A Lenda de El-Rei D. Sebastião” by José Cid’s Quarteto 1111, which in 1967 marked the transition to progressive pop; the Ekos’s pop in “Esquece” (the Portuguese version of P.J. Proby’s “Hold me”); the Sheiks, the Portuguese Beatles with “Missing You” and “Tell Me Bird”; the “hendrixian” Filipe Mendes’s Chinchilas; The  “Hully Gully do Montanhês” by João Paulo (from Madeira) and his band: Conjunto Académico; the Quinteto Académico + 2; the Tantra; Miguel Graça Moura’s Pop Five Music Incorporated; the unforgettable “Epopeia” by António Pinho and Luis Linhares’ Filarmónica Fraude; José Cid’s “10 000 Anos depois entre Vénus e Marte”; Júlio Pereiras psychedelic rock with Objectivo, Perspectiva e Xarhanga or Sérgio Castro and António Garcês’s band Arte & Oficio’s hard-rock – all of them enjoyable references of those days who made it without any major support from the media.

The interest in this boom, which appeared in the 80’s, also made room for a “new” industry (magazines, newspapers, radios, publishers, televisions, concerts). The social atmosphere was favourable: The consolidated democracy of the 25th of April, the deep socio-cultural changes and the frequent concerts given by numerous foreign bands in Portugal, obviously prompted the interest of the record companies in this new seam. Suddenly, all the other radios discover local rock. The printed press follows suit, television jumps on the bandwagon, and young people, mostly students, who as of 1979 began to buy more FM radios and record players in connection with the concert fever, were also seduced.

The quality of the music produced by these bands was variable (most of the times ranging between good, fair and bearable), their members coming from middle class urban families from Porto or Lisbon (but not only). Rui Veloso, UHF, GNR, Xutos & Pontapés, Go Graal Blues Band, Roxigénio, Heróis do Mar, Salada de Frutas, Ananga Ranga, Rock & Varius, Trabalhadores do Comércio, Jafumega, Taxi, Iodo, TNT, Street Kids, Adelaide Ferreira, NZZN, Trovante, Sétima Legião, Pop Dell'Arte, Peste e Sida, these are just some of the names that can give an idea of the proportions of this “phenomenon”. In the 90’s, the new resonance and the search for a language, combined with the multiple experiences of groups that had started out in the 70’s and the 80’s, continued through groups like Ban, Radio Macau, Mão Morta, Silence 4, Clã, Ornatos Violeta or The Gift.

At the turn of the Millenium, Internet was also targeted by new bands wanting to show their projects. At the same time, Portuguese soap operas became essential for the divulgation of new bands and the protecting mother of veteran artists. This is a fuse that still burns and many of them survive on commercialism, commonness and consent. Others simply disappeared. None of those we have mentioned managed to go beyond the space of Portuguese language... An honourable exception, however, is Moonspell, the only national band that has been consolidating its world-wide reputation over the last 18 years in gothik, death or metal doom beyond the Lusophonous frontiers.

So far “quite neat, I would say!”

Luís Filipe Barros

Technical Details

Issue Date: 19.07.2010
Designer: Atelier Acacio Santos / Helder Soares
Printer: INCM
Size: 40 x 30,6 mm, 125 x 95 mm
Values: ?2,50, ?3,78, ?3,84, ?5,20