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.
I’ve been in Spain for a week now having left Leicester with my carload of ‘stuff’ back in March.
By now I should be settled into the villa that will become home for the next year. But the previous tenant is dragging her feet and despite paying no rent to Sarah is showing few signs of urgency in terms of vacating. It’s all a tad frustrating. The lawyers might well need to get involved. Without Sarah’s permission, the current tenant (who we’ll call mad-dog woman for ease of reference) has been using the property as a dog rehabilitation home. The fixed kennels that have been installed on the land don’t appear to be coming down. This could be a long and drawn-out process.
We’ve tried to use the time productively by touring around the vast and varied Muebles that operate in these parts. Warehouses by the side of roads almost look closed when you drive up to them (and some are – we set off an alarm in one when we innocently wandered in). But enter inside these sprawling caves and you’ll find all manner of home furnishings. We figure that the furniture currently in the property might need replacing when mad-dog woman and her troop of fifty dogs finally decide to leave. Not that anything can be bought as yet.
We’ve also used the time to visit some of the lovely attractions around these parts. On the drive down from Bilbao we stopped overnight in Zaragoza. I wish we’d got the lift to the top of the Basilica on a day when my legs weren’t still feeling the ferry-wobbles. The view from up there of this fantastic city was surely impressive but such was my feeling of retrospective sea-sickness I clung to the lift shaft and barely looked down.
The day trip on ‘Dave’s Coaches’ to Cartagena was also impressive. “Is this a history-like place?”, asked one punter to another, blissfully unaware of what they were about to see. In truth, although I’d read about the place in tourist and history books, nothing can really prepare you for being there. As you walk out of the Teatro Romano museum into the open-air space of the theatre itself, it’s hard not to be overcome by the sheer scope and size. I delivered my best Shakespeare soliloquy from the stage of the theatre, demonstratively flinging my arms in OTT fashion as I pondered the meaning of life. Sarah bought me back to earth by pointing out that this arena pre-dated the Bard by a mere millennium and a half.
Accidentally stumbling upon the burial of the sardine fiesta in Murcia last Saturday was another highlight. We caught the train from our temporary hostel in Crevillente keen to see the swish elegance of the casino and to experience the highly-rated tapas. We had no idea that we’d enter a city full of noise, vivacity and carnival troupes handing out toys and trinkets to wide-eyed children. As we shuffled down the main promenades full of Spanish cheer and beer, I couldn’t help thinking that the decision to spend a year adventuring in this country is a wise one.
Sarah heads back to England tomorrow and then I’ll be very much alone. I’ve met lots of people willing to help in evicting mad-dog woman but it would appear that patience is the right tactic for now. She’ll go when she’s ready to and then I can concentrate on getting the villa into some semblance of order. Nothing seems to happen with haste here and it’s best to go with that flow. I’ve enrolled on an intensive Spanish language course in Alicante for the next two weeks. I’ll be sharing accommodation with other students, something that I last did 25 years ago. It’s been so long since I’ve attempted to learn a new language it’s likely that my brain will explode. In my spare time, I plan to listen to new music and blog about what I’ll find. I’m also going to see if I can get myself accredited for ‘We Are Murcia’, an exciting festival that’s soon to take place in the city.
Until next time, here’s a tune I heard whilst sat in the town hall in Catral yesterday. It took on new meaning amongst the inefficiencies and frustrations.