I live in the Province of Almeria, in Andalucia, Spain. An area of the world rich in musical heritage. Indeed, the village next door – Mojacar was revived in the 1960’s when the then Mayor invited artists and musicians to buy the derelict homes of this deserted and forgotten town for just ten pounds each. It was a revolutionary idea – and it worked. Mojacar slowly came back to life, and was fed and financed by a slow but steady tourist industry, clearly distinct from the ‘lager lout’ culture of Benidorm, much further up the coast.
Many foreigners moved here, Brits, Germans, Scandinavians, all bringing their dreams and creating a new economy. But dark clouds loomed on the horizon. As the prominent local families had finally amassed their fortunes from the tourism trade, and swapped their horses and carts for Mercedes, they decided to systematically set about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Mojacar, once on the verge of a successful 10 month tourist season thanks to our wonderful climate, saw its trade wither like an old Rioja grape on the vine. August is now about the only time the bar owners get to redress the horrendous losses they make during the rest of the year, and yet the bars have had to cancel the entertainment that would bring in the business, for fear of falling foul of the regulations. That’s a lot of ‘effin there. Damn right.
Dreams began to die on an almost daily basis, as people returned home, broke, and disillusioned. Now – the fate of this once renaissance village seems to be finally sealed once and for all. The ‘powers that be’ (I shan’t use the word Mayor, as they don’t even come close to the vision shown by their 60’s counterpart) – Have decreed that all bars be fitted with a noise control machine (decimeter) – to be paid for by the owners of course – at 1,500 euros a shot – and to be set at 55 decibels. I fart louder than that.
So, a fait accompli then, because if the bars are reckless enough to book live entertainment, they cannot fail to break the new law. Apparently, if the police are called twice to any venue, the place will be shut down. This, make no bones about it, is Fascism by any other name. What kind of mindset implements laws to kill the very culture that helped rebuild this magical place? It disgusts me, and I state here and now that I find these people beneath my contempt, and their actions reprehensible, not to mention inexplicable.
Oh, and by the way, we have the highest unemployment rate amongst the young of anywhere in Spain. Yeah, the bosses are doing a great job.
LONG LIVE MUSIC – SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD, AND PLAY IT LIVE!!!
Just decided to slot in a couple of local shows with my friend Mario in mid – September, after I return from Germany with BC Sweet. We’ll be playing as a three-piece, just guitar , bass and drums, and I might take the opportunity to slot in a couple of tracks from the forthcoming album. We’ll be playing mainly blues and rock-based stuff, Bad Company , Free, Led Zeppelin – so highly enjoyable. It’s always fun to do something local, knowing I’ll only be out of the house for a few hours instead of flying here, there and everywhere!
This entry has very little to do with music, but I wanted to share it with you anyhow. Miki and I decided to ‘supersize’ our daily visit to the swimming pool in Vera, by turning right instead of left after our swim. I’d spied an ad in the local free paper which mentioned a mysterious ‘pink house’ which served a number of interesting comestible for just a euro each. Everything. Just one Euro. I conveniently ignored the fact that it would probably cost us 20 euros in fuel to get there and back as it was tucked away off the Autovia in a place called La Concepcion. I ignored it because of one magic word in the ad. Waffles.
As any of you who have read Cafe Crem will know, we became addicted to the waffles served up by the Waffle house chain in the States, so it was imperative that we at least try something similar to ease our craving. It was also a chance to go for a blast in Smartie, which I had studiously cleaned the day before.
Top down, with Donald Fagen‘s luscious Morph the Cat album insinuating itself from the speakers, it was a wonderful afternoon out. The Smart Roadster really revelled in the winding roads that greeted us as we left the highway, and I was reminded of what a pleasure it is to own a maneuverable little rag-top like this down here in sunny Almeria. It’s driver’s heaven – miles and miles of empty roads!
When we finally arrived at our destination, we found that the food was great, not just the waffles, but the falafel and baguettes too. But the Pink House was much more than a cafe, it was treasure house of the bizarre and peculiar!
Egyptian beds, Moorish chairs and tables jostled for space with a fully complete beautifully carpentered pulpit and staircase and female shaped lounge chairs that perhaps started life in a brothel. It was a very cool place, and a perfect stopping off point on a drive out.
On the way home, Miki wanted to photograph the Yedesa factory. It’s a bit of a local oddity. It looks to me like the owner lives on site, in a Moorish styled house complete with prayer tower, and he’s livened up his factory by painting it in a host of colours and surrounding it with trees!
All in all, it was great to get out and about. It’s something we forget to do, and it’s easy to take for granted what a great part of the world we live in. We should always make time to enjoy it.