Oscar D’León at London’s Roundhouse, November 3 2012

Photo by Julio Etchart
Last Saturday, Oscar D’León and his big band performed at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm for his first London show in years.

Before the salsa superstar had even appeared on stage, the venue was packed and spontaneous salsa dances were breaking out all around me. The energy was already high by the time D’León walked out to a huge applause, sporting his iconic moustache, which seemed only appropriate for the first weekend of ‘Movember.’

Even though my attempts at salsa would be more aptly described as ‘spasms’ rather than ‘dancing,’ I couldn’t help myself, and before too long I was moving my feet and wagging my hips.

With moves like his and a voice that can still belt out the classics, you’d hardly be able to guess D’León is 69 years old. Known for his dance tunes, the evening seemed to lose a bit of momentum during his slower numbers. Despite this, the sonero delivered a brilliant performance that kept the audience dancing all night long and left everyone with a smile on their face. I managed to make it home with a few bruised toes, but it was totally worth it.

You can read our Beginner’s Guide to Oscar D’León in the current issue (Nov/Dec 2012, #88) or online here.

This review originally appeared in Songlines.

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