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Contrary Cocktail

Moderne Shellac, 2015

Contrary Cocktail

A hypnotic blend of rhythms, landscapes, tones, colors, styles and moods, with melodies leading the way to certain places that only songs without words can go.

-- Pieta Brown, 2015

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Last night’s show in Lanuza was very unusual in that the stage was erected at the edge of the lake in Huesca, Sallent de Gallego, the vast lake behind the structure and yards of water between the front of the stage and the people.  It was a gorgeous setting although the wind coming off the water proved chilly, John and Mark receiving the brunt of the cold.  For those of us a few feet back and protected from the wind, it was cool and pleasant.  For Guy who is suffering with the flu, he was sweating and had to change mid-show out of wet clothes into dry ones.  Something for everybody.  For those of us on stage who were less than comfortable, I would have never guessed it from their performances.  To a man everybody stepped up and put on a great gig for 5,000 people who were singing along.

 

As the show didn’t begin until 10 o’clock, we arrived back at our chalet-hotel past midnight, gathered down in the bar for a nightcap then called it a day.

 

Saturday.  25 July, 2015.  A hard day’s travel.  These tours are always set up for maximum comfort and minimum travel hardship.  Every once in a while logistics demand otherwise.  Today was one of those days and it looked like this:

 9:30 Bag pick up

10:45 Depart hotel for Pau Airport, (2:15 drive)

 1:00 Wheels up to Salamance Airport, (1:05 flight)

 2:05  Land in Salamance and drive to the hotel

 7:30  Depart hotel for venue, (1:30 drive)

 9:00 Arrive at venue in Avila

11:00 Show

 1:05  A runner back to the hotel in Salamanca, (1:30 drive)

 2:35  Arrive at hotel

 

We arrived on sched this afternoon at our hotel.  Salamanca is located in the northwestern midlands and is home to a large university.  With a lot of travelling already done I think most folks were off to a siesta.  I thought I might try to get my head down as well but wasn’t very tired.  I continued mopping up old e-mail from my days offline and decided to get out for a walk and a coffee.  Just a block from the hotel is the Church of St. Stephens, it’s convent and cloisters dating back to the 1500s.  I enjoy going in the old cathedrals even though I’m a devout non-believer.  They’re usually dark, cool and quiet and I always light a candle for those gone.  Who can it hurt?

 

Tonight’s show in Avila is an hour and half drive from Salamanca.  We met for dinner tonight in the hotel dining room rather than eating at the venue then left Salamanca at 7:30 on schedule, for the venue.  This where things began getting interesting, about an hour into the journey we began going up little narrow streets in small villages that wound upward and finally became barren mountains with hairpin turns.  There was nothing for miles around let alone a gig.  After nearly 2 hours of driving it was clear that the wrong road had been taken.  A tense confab with our road manager and the lead driver finally set us in the right direction.  By the time we arrived in the vicinity of the venue we were caught up in audience traffic.  A police car was sent for and with lights ablaze we were escorted up the wrong side of the road to bypass the traffic in.  There were more than a few cars coming at us and it was nerve wracking as to who would pull over.  Spinal Tap in Spain.  We finally arrived at the venue, Festival Musicos en la Naturaleza.  Turns out the is was the final gig of the 2010 tour an outdoor festival with 14,000 in attendance.  A very popular band in Spain opened the show, Fito & Fitipaldis from Madrid.  A well loved group and they had the audience with them all the way.  We took the stage at 11 o’clock and two hours later were back in the vehicles heading back to Salamanca.  This time the right roads were taken and it was exactly a 90 minute drive putting us at the hotel at 2:30 in the morning.

 

A very long day.

 

So long,

 

 

Richard