Bye Bye Barna, Bye Bye Spain

Today marks the end of the mediterrenean maddness as I embarked on my flight to Berlin at 11 this morning.  2 days shy of a month, its time to look back on the wonderous events since setting off from my Rotterdam apartment June the 25th.

Porto was a wonderful surprise with the “Super people at Soopa” making the stay delightfully relaxing and the city itself provided much for the lenses of my camera.  The concert at Casa Viva was also part of the whole nice surprise with more than the expected number of enthusiastic audience turning up and lending a ear.  The concert space also provided an unexpected prop, or rather instrument for the performance, a battered battery set against the battered backdrop of the decadent interiors gave me the opportunity to play the drummer I have always wanted to be.  Adding to the ear ache was Portugese dark ambient act PS of Porto’s first net label Enough Records.

After the solitary show in Portugal, I set forth North into the mystical mountains of Galicia and presented the performance in the ancient city of Santiago.  Being the conclusion for many pilgrims as they end their long march at the foot of the main cathedral, the only symbolism this brings is the marking of the second show on this tour.  Sharing the stage with synthetic noise maker Duran Vaquez, this night turned out to be a blast with the help of much coffee liquor and Galician wines.

Hitching a ride further North to A Coruna, what was intended as a tourist visit turned out to be an unplanned show to almost 50 people on a Monday night!  With the collective effort of Cesar, Conni, Lucia and Sande, a last minute concert was put on for “the traveling musician from Singapore” at a new (and only) squat in A Coruna – Casa das Atochas.  I would like to publicly wish Cesar and Conni the best for their planned move from the wilderness in Galicia to an even more remote region in Asturias attempting to forge closer towards a completely self-sufficienct life.

Next on the list was a revisit to the Xiz Bar in Gijon.  It proved to be as expected, with audiences from last year returning as audiences again.  As before, it is always nice to play in this city and I am pretty sure I will be back again, even if not to play, I will be back for the amazing beaches along the Northern Asturian coast!  Special thanks to Nacho at Green Mammoth for making it all happen, bar, beach and bananas!

Back to Bil!  Back to Bil!  The magic of Bilbao continues in 2008 with 2 shows where I did improvised performances with dancers, bringing back the memories of the FIM festival last year at L’Mono.  The first concert was not really a concert, but more like a private session for those involved to create an indescribable atmostphere where the dancers, video artist and musicians all moved as a whole.  The sets were intense, going beyond merely playing off the dancers of dancers dancing to music, it was communication at its best where one could not exist without the other.  The second night of performances was open to the public and saw the addition of local sound and video artists to the performance fray.  Turning out to be more than just an experimental dance or music night, the role call of the day epitomises the term experimental concert with its inclusion of a performance by 3 string puppet masters doing Sinatra impersonations!  Special thanks to Olaff, Inoa, Ines, Santi and all the dancers that participated.

Last stop in Spain – Barcelona.  Another repeat concert at the NIU gallery in Barcelona with support C-utter was unfortunately on the same night as Mogwai, The Sex Pistols and Bruce Sringsteen.  Not that all 90,000 of those people would have come to the NIU but maybe more than the 8 that did make it?  Still, meeting the old friends and walking around the few nights a year that Barcelona is a ghost town was nice.  And of course discovering that One Man Nation made it on to the Fuck The Bastards Vol.2 compilation was also a nice surprise.  Do check out the FTB radio show which I played and screamed for half an hour in the sweltering heat of the broadcast booth at Radio Bronka, links below!  Shout out to Kike for all would’ve been impossible if not for him!

Click here to listen to the full performance on the FTB Radio program (in Spanish, live set stars 20 minutes into the show)

Links in chronological order of discovery

The wonderful people at Soopa –
Casa Viva Porto –
Enough Records –
DF Arte –
Durán Vazquez –
Casa das Atochas –
Green Mammoth Productions –
Xiz Bar –
L’mono –
C-utter –
Fuck The Bastards Radio Show –