I’m still a little fried from the longest trip away that I've taken in years. The fact you're reading this means I survived. Madrid > El Escorial > Madrid > Castellon > Barcelona. in case you wonder, It does often occur to me that I'm too fucking old to be doing this but the necessity shows no sign of abating. This missive is shorter than it might have been for the reason that will become apparent in due course.
Arrived in Madrid early doors on September 25th. Good move because it allowed me to settle rather than dump the bag and head for the show as is usually the case. Hostal Aguilar is a great spot if you ever get to the city. Perfect location and I'm certain that my nocturnal movements cause amusement to the reception folks that have to buzz me in the wee small hours.
First up was the 8th Annual Wurlitzer Ballroom birthday smorgasbord and The Tripwires closed Thursday night. Flat out the best pub rock band in America or maybe anywhere at this point. Maybe we need to adapt the genre to gastropub rock? Much imbibing took place afterward resulting in a wee small hours leaving time that meant I was up about 26 hours. Friday was The Mockers, that Robbie Rist can sure blaze.
Saturday was relatively sedate compared to the two previous nights. I saw the excellent PeaWees and a bit of Belgian stalwarts, The Kids before taking a wee wander up to Weirdo. The idea at the back of my mind was that it might be an early night as I was heading for El Escorial - an hour or so north in the mountains - by train fairly early on Sunday. Quality hanging time was had in a beautiful part of the world that allows the gears to drop a bit.
Back to town on Tuesday for more socialising and Wednesday over ran due to some late arrivals at Wurli before the 100+ years of rock'n'roll circus hit El Sol. The expected after show carnage took place and it was 4 hours between getting back to the Agui and having to meet for the train. What I saw of the journey was cracking. Trouble was I just slipped in and out of consciousness. I was a bit more alert at the changeover in Valencia. Maybe.
Hotel room was very fancy by my standards with a terrace. A couple more days to scope it out would have been good. The venue called The Four Seasons is another of those places that are scattered throughout Spain. The Teenarama Powerpop kids visited from Murcia and it was nice to meet these hallowed tipsters. That’s tipsters not hipsters, if these folks flag something up then you should take notice. Next day was Barcelona and everything started off swimmingly until we got there and some arse left his cell phone in the taxi. I prefer to look at it like this, had it been my passport things would have been way worse.
It did curtail the BCN action a tad but the show was nothing short of miraculous. Good as the other two were this was on steroids with a very active dance formation troupe down front at all times. The Quattros, my first time seeing them with young Curly Q on drums, flew straight out of the traps. I never fail to be proud of them and I never forget that it is entirely their doing that my love affair with Spain even happened. The Yum Yums played a blinding set of wall to wall hits and of course I miss Vibeke and Andre but they’re hitting a stride now that I could never have expected. The Surfin’ Lungs were even bigger and brighter this evening too and well, what can anyone say about The Rubinoos. There wasn’t a dry seat left in the house. The maxxed out the energy level and then some. Circumstances dictated that the big end of the triple wasn't celebrated en mass but some mighty fun was had over the week or so.
And of course the best bit is to see my extended family and to meet new amigos and amigettes, my deepest appreciation to all for taking time out to provide such primo company. Such a visit always humbles me and I look forward now to seeing those Nomads this weekend and taking in a new Spanish destination at the end of this month.
As I type my notes for this, there's a party going on at Barbara Ann bar that will be every bit as splendiferous as the Apolo 2 but reality beckoned. Temporary reality though. The fun is set to resume soon. That's what I need to repeat as a mantra to abate any tendency to whine.
It’s the sixth anniversary of my obsession with España this very weekend (October 19th). Hoping that they're not glad to see me go because I’m less than happy with being gone in the proximity sense.
Less than a week later I’m down “the London” for The Nomads and Sator and it’s all kicking into place again. Well worth the 12 hour train round trip to experience another evening of what life is largely all about. A key figure or two might have been unable to make it but those folks were there in spirit alright. I’m pretty sure all of this happened because there’s a recording of it and I sure felt like I’d been through the mill when I had to get up for work the next day.
I had some crew from Finland and Spain here this past week and there are another few shows locally over the next wee while but next up is my first Funtastic Dracula Festival where I will be reunited with the one and only Girl Trouble after what seems like a lifetime.
Bring it the bloody fuck on.
Links, etc. will follow... he typed optimistically...