Cordillera Sur Murcia Fest

I’m heading across to Murcia later today. My convoluted reasons for doing so are music-related. Murcia is a fine city. I spent a fair bit of time there when I first arrived in Spain but I’ve not headed back much recently. It’s been a bit too hot.

Back in August, whilst sat around a table at Boomtown’s crew bar, I got chatting with a couple of members of Mexican band, Los Kamer. In truth, they spoke little English and  my drunken Spanish was rudimentary. I think I managed to convey that I’d enjoyed their set (even though I’d not watched a great deal of it). They told me about a mammoth European tour they were embarking upon and I randomly made a commitment to catch up with them when they touched down in Murcia sometime in September. 

A couple of subsequent Internet searches proved fruitless and I wondered if my drunken head had made things up. Had I imagined that Los Kamer were playing in Murcia? 

Cordillera Sur Murcia Fest is a one-night festival taking place in the small town of Beniajan. From what I can tell having never been there, Beniajan is a half hour bus ride from Murcia, the equivalent perhaps of a festival in Broughton Astley for a Leicester dweller. If Beniajan has hotels or rental accommodation, they don’t have availability for tonight. But the impression I get is that this is one small town at the end of a dead-end street. It’s Spaghetti Western country. Let the adventure commence.

Los Kamer are one of the few bands on the bill for Cordillera Sur Murcia Fest. But I had a listen to the other acts listed (Eskorzo, Alien Tango and Clot) and couldn’t help but be impressed. The skewed psychedelics of Alien Tango particularly jumped out and  the bouncy world music of Eskorzo would surely get any crowd going. I missed Eskorzo when they made their Boomtown video but it does capture the essence of that great festival. Best of all, tickets for the Cordillera were hardly going to break the bank. At 2 euros for general admission and 5 euros for admission, a drink and a wristband, I plumped for the more expensive. It would have been rude not to. 

As with any ‘new’ thing that you throw yourself into, I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit afraid. I’ve booked a hotel in Murcia and will build some Dutch courage by having a few afternoon beers. It looks easy enough to get to Beniajan by public transport though I do suspect that navigating my way back to the hotel at 4AM tomorrow morning once the music has stopped might prove more challenging. 

Still, that’s no reason for not doing something. Wish me luck. 

 

 

 

 

 

The End Of The Summer

Friends tell me that the fabulous Shambala festival has once again been a riotous success over in Market Harborough. It’s always been one of my favourite festivals – and one that leaves me exceptionally sad when packing up the tent to head home on August Bank Holiday Monday. 

In years gone by, it’s marked the end of Summer for me. Often, but not always, it’s been my last festival of the year. The days can’t help but get shorter and colder; it’s not long before the central heating has to kick into action again; that’s if it hasn’t already done so. Schoolteacher friends have to head back to jobs they hate. There’s little bonus to look forward to in Autumn and Winter when Christmas rarely floats your boat.

This year feels different. July and August have frankly been too hot in this part of Spain but I’m told that September and October are much better months to experience. Far from being dejected, I’m excited by the new things I’m likely to discover. This is a year that’ll keep on giving. 

Progress on the novel has been slow and I’ve hardly been churning blog posts out with dedicated profligacy. 

Profligacy – there’s a word I really should avoid using in the future.

It has been a wonderful summer though. If I was truly able to live in the moment, I’d probably say it’s been one of my best ever; it’s certainly one that I’ll look back on fondly in years from now. Not having to worry about a day job has given me all sorts of freedoms I otherwise wouldn’t have. 

I slept under canvas when back in England for three weeks; the weather helped but what a glorious thing to be able to do. Looking out from the dewy tent over perfect panoramas of the Dorset coast; poring over newspapers and magazines and being truly able to appreciate the columnists’ craft without having ‘something’ else to do; not beating myself up for not rushing around madly; finding my own pace. These have been my favourite experiences. 

British festivals ensured that my need for the chaotic was still achieved; from the wet and cosy Lunar (review here) through to the simply extraordinary, out of the world Boomtown (review here) via the sizzling Bestival (review here), they’ve all provided summer memories to cherish. 

Just last week after a day exploring the Ricote Valley here in Spain (highly recommended when it’s less hot), Sarah and I stumbled upon the thermal baths and day spa at Archena. Full of water jets and forceful showers, plunge pools and wave trails, here you could massage and pummel your achy joints and muscles whilst looking out to the mountains north of Murcia. I’ll go there again. 

Fine food, simple sea swimming and  surprises beyond every T-junction that are waiting to be explored. 

It’s the end of Summer but it’s not the end of this crazy adventure. 

 

The Allergies (featuring Andy Cooper) – Rock Rock

I take no blame. I did warn readers yesterday that the Kinjac video might be a bit gruesome to accompany your breakfast snack – so I consider the complaints received invalid.

“Can’t you just post something a bit more uplifting and cheery?” I was asked. 

“Oh, go on then”, I conceded. 

Bristol based production duo, The Allergies, have teamed up with Andy Cooper from the pretty legendary hip-hop act, Ugly Duckling, to release Rock Rock, an exuberant blast of tongue-twisting, mixed-up madness. Andy only seems to pause for breath when he punches the title  out; for the rest of this energetic extravaganza, he’s juggernauting along at breakneck speed uttering phrases quicker than my head can compute.

It truly makes for an exhiliarating ride. The crisp, soulful funky swagger given to the track by The Allergies’ production would probably be enough to carry this cake as an instrumental but the addition of the lyrical topping gives it a sweeter taste. I see that The Allergies are booked for a fair few festivals this year. It makes a lot of sense. Boomtown will go wild for this sort of thing.

Not only is this a top tune but it has a happy video as well. The puppet show towards the end is delightful. Andy’s clearly quite a character. 

What’s that you’re saying? You’d love to be able to exorcise the demons of yesterday by rapping along to ‘Rock Rock’? As a very special treat – and as long as you promise to watch the main video first – I’ll attach the lyric video as well… Good luck, you’ll need it.