Why the ‘Locomia’ documentary is the pop entertainment of the summer

We barely remembered the Locomia phenomenon that the documentary on the erratic trajectory of the group ended up on everyone’s lips. Founded in Ibiza by its main member Xavier Font and signed to a major label by the kingpin José Luis Gil, Locomia never really sold many records. What they achieved at the end of the 1980s was to become a phenomenon known to all Spaniards, given their showy appearance on all televisions of the time, as well as taking the plunge to America Latin, where, even today, are its main followers. Very crazy fans, at the time able to risk their lives to hunt their idols – by pulling their bodies out of cars traveling at 100 km / hour – and destroying entire rooms out of absolute devotion to their dubious choreography.

Somehow we forget about all of that, so director Jorge Laplace has devoted himself body and soul to highlighting Locomia’s trajectory, his place in pop history, in a variety of ways. The most interesting is the confrontation between the artist and the industry. Even in his autoparody portrayal of the absolute villain, Xavier Font survives the documentary interviews as the group’s ideologue. It represents concept, originality, artistry, character and charisma. “I am a manipulator, but I manipulate with love,” he proclaims in the first of three chapters with more face than back.

Almost as much as that of José Luis Gil, who does not hesitate to represent the worst face of the recording industry in its most aggressive era: this era when people spent their money to buy lots of records. With a great sense of smell, it was Gil who brought about the group’s musical shift with the help of producer Pedro Vidal, who is called “the inventor of bakalao”, who recorded the phrasing star of the song “Locomia” because the boys did not know how to sing or what he rapped, and above all he recorded the name of the formation.

In an absolutely grandiose way, these two great villains have agreed to take a picture of themselves as if brought back from hell itself, on red and green backgrounds, glaucous like them, in the middle of a completely crazy graphic line which raises pure fantasy. Jorge Laplace explains that this documentary speaks of a “war” and that only the effects of missiles and bombs are missing. Yes, there are references to cannon shots.


As if that weren’t enough, the docuseries was uploaded in its entirety on June 22, in time for summer, the heat wave, and most importantly, LGBT+ Pride. The various members of the group say they were forced to sign a contract obliging them to keep their homosexuality hidden. They were forbidden to “go to places which, because of their reputation, could harm the group”, and gay clubs or saunas were mentioned as such, and it was specified that their composition “could never exceed what was considered logical, within a year. masculine aesthetics. José Luis Gil says bluntly: “Why are you going to aim for 15% of the market, instead of 100%? A pressure that would lead Juan Antonio to leave, replaced, in a humiliating way, by a blond boy with similar features to him (one of the members who died in 2018, Santos Blanco).

The documentary thus presents Locomia as LGTB+ pioneers, because if they could not come out of the closet, they suffered from the homophobia of the time in a presumed modern Spain between the Olympics and the Expo, but which was far from it. “You lose more oil than Locomia’s van” and “Locomia’s bundle” were among the most imaginative jokes, making them a reference to what is different, as it would later be, for example, Lady Gaga . “With them, I learned that being different was cool,” says a fan who knows where they located God. “Without coming out of the closet we can help people, open a path”, explains another of the same opinion.

Between interviews with different members of the group, very popular at the time, the emblematic Capi and Valeria Vegas, among others, ‘Locomia’ does not avoid Operation Abanico, which landed Xavier Font in prison for popper trafficking and ecstasy, nor the hectic changes in formation even before the war between Xavier and José Luis broke out. More superficial is the musical approach given to the group, proving that composition and production were really the least important thing in a group whose raison d’être and emblems were fans, shoulder pads, Parcheesi-type colors and pointed shoes.

Nobody here talks about house fashion, the revival of those beats in the hands of artists like Charli XCX or Beyoncé, ball culture or vogue, or the limited record success of Locomia. His first album, the most popular, never exceeded the 35th place in sales in Spain. Does anyone remember his name being ‘Taiyo’? What included a theme dedicated to ‘Gorbachev’ that he supposedly gave the green light? In a somewhat treacherous and diabolical way, befitting its protagonists, director Jorge Laplace contrasted the band’s declared “maturity” on their third album with the absolutely ridiculous lyrics ripped from it. Or Xavier Font criticizing the group’s most successful era: “it wasn’t the kind of music I would have made”. A constant “pee and not fall”; a documentary where you can’t help but rub your eyes.

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