Exhibition The big night of catalan rock

20.05.2016 to 08.01.2017

This exhibition aims to remember the musical movement that took place in Catalonia in the late eighties and early nineties and finally break out in the big concert of the Palau Sant Jordi on 14 June 1991.

The four groups that participated – Sopa de Cabra, Sau, Sangtraït and Els Pets- are the central focus of the exhibition. The exhibition includes posters, concert tickets, records and instruments of these bands. It also offers music, videos and clips of the concert of the Palau Sant Jordi, on a tour through the musical scene of those years.

Catalan rock

During 15 years, from 1985 to 2000, all the ingredients came together to create a local scene with over 250 groups and 500 records on the market, which generated a new music industry (concert halls, circuits, festivals, record labels, managers) and new cultural policies promoted by the institutions, and attracted the interest of the media and a public that soon felt fully identified. Looking back, it is clear that the high point was the concert featuring the four most successful bands on the scene.

The big night at the Palau Sant Jordi

On 14 June 1991 the Palau Sant Jordi hosted a mega concert starring Sopa de Cabra, Sau, Sangtraït and Els Pets. It was the moment of maximum popularity of Catalan rock, both among the public and in the media. There were 22,104 people in the audience, a European record for spectators at a concert held at an indoor venue, and the event had a major impact in the Catalan media and among opinion leaders.
The Palau Sant Jordi was filled to overflowing by the fans who came to see the performances of Sopa de Cabra, Sau, Sangtraït and Els Pets, programmed in that order, and the public also sang along to music videos by Lax’n’Busto and Umpah-pah. The concert was broadcast live on Channel 33 and lasted until three in the morning. Catalan rock became visible, multinational companies made offers that night to all the artists, the groups increased their appearance fees, and great expectations were generated in every sense of the word, not to forget the controversy linked to a scene that was subsidized by public funds.

Sopa de Cabra. The kings of rock

Formed in a squad in Girona by musicians from previous groups, Sopa de Cabra already had many fans before releasing their debut album. A combination of potent rock and barefaced lyrics made this group the spearhead of Catalan rock, especially thanks to songs like “L’Empordà”. Gerard Quintana (vocals), Josep Thió (guitar), Joan ‘Ninyín’ Cardona (guitar), Francesc ‘Cuco’ Lisícic (bass) and Pep Bosch (drums).

Sau. Pop ballads

Sau’s success began with the album Quina nit (Picap, 1990), which catapulted the group to the heights of popularity. The songs of the band led by Carles Sabater and Pep Sala were chanted by thousands of spectators. “Boig per tu” became part of the Catalan intergenerational soundscape. Carles Sabater (vocals), Pep Sala (guitar and keyboards), Ramon Altimir (keyboards), Pep Sànchez (bass) and Quim Benítez (drums).
Carles Sabater (vocals), Pep Sala (guitar and keyboards), Ramon Altimir (keyboards), Pep Sànchez (bass) and Quim Benítez (drums).

Els Pets. Protest and fiesta music

This is the group of its generation with the longest uninterrupted career, some 30 years, which has made them a key reference. They started with fiesta music that drew on different styles and this evolved into pop with a local flavour, while not losing the critical, fighting spirit that had characterized them from the beginning.
Lluís Gavaldà (vocals and guitar), Ramon Vidal (guitar and vocals), Joan Reig (drums and vocals) and Falin Càceres (bass). Les Llufes: Annabel Gavaldà (vocals) and Núria Llaràs (vocals). Vents de Baiona: Enric Roca (trumpet), Xavi Pie (alto sax), Quim Burgalés (sax) and Quico Méndez (trombone, keyboards and guitar).

Sangtraït. Tramontana heavy metal

Sangtraït was formed by five friends from the Empordà region, attracted to heavy metal, rock and rhythm and blues. Initially they did cover versions but gradually developed their own repertoire with songs of an epic nature. The music of the band from La Jonquera, with its unmistakeable sound, won them thousands of loyal fans.
Quim Mandado (vocals and bass), Josep Maria Corominas (guitar), Lupe Villar (guitar), Papa Juls (harmonica and sax) and Martín Rodríguez (drums).


Participants and contributors
Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament de Cultura; Ajuntament de Barcelona; Fundació SGAE; Enderrock; Catalunya Ràdio; Estrella Damm; Discmedi-blau; Picap; Salseta; TV3; KriskaDECOR