There’s always something interesting going off outside our house. in addition to having a wonderful view of the Sierra Cabrera Mountains from the balcony, there’s also the opportunity to see lots of things happening in the dry river bed for instance. Sometimes, it actually becomes a raging torrent, with the river waters almost overflowing into the fields, sometimes it has a shepherd and his herd of goats wandering down it, their tinkling bells bringing a kind of pastoral musicality to the day. Every now and then, you’ll hear the roar of moto-cross, and catch the colourful blur of riders as bikes speed down the winding riverbed. And then there’s the donkey. I was moved to look out of the window yesterday when Miki, sat at her computer yelled “Donkey!”. Sure enough, a lone donkey was ambling down the street to the main road. Within minutes, a horde of adults, children and dogs were high-tailing it after him, as he trotted up the main road to Mojacar village. Cars were slowing and swerving in an attempt to ‘corral’ him. He responded by crossing a ditch and cantered across somebody else’s field. Somehow though, eventually this rag-tag legion of kids, adults, dogs and cars managed to get him back here, and we watched with amusement as he was finally roped and the young boy who’d lost him was sat back on him, and they trotted off.
Who needs television when you’ve got animal antics like this outside your front door?
My old mate Stef from the UK is over in Spain again, and that means – fun gigs! So Stef, Mario and I threw a couple of sets of rock together and began by playing Mario’s own Bar Zambra on friday night, followed by El patio beach bar on Mojacar Playa on the Saturday early evning. We had a blast, playing the set by the seat of our pants with virtually no reheasals, and performing songs such as Radar Love, La Grange, One last Soul etc. but by far the most poignant for me was playing the late great Tommy Bolin’s ‘Teaser’. I’d had a message from his brother a couple of days back after I’d tweeted we’d be doing the song, telling me to say it was a ‘special request from his brother Johnny from Sioux city, and to rock it!’ That we did, and it was an honour and a privilege to do so.
We have one more show coming up in the nearby mountain village of Bedar on Wednesday, and I’ll be posting pics etc from both that and the El Patio show later!
There’s no such thing as the Kev Moore Band really, but that’s who Me, Mario and Stef were last Friday night at Zambra in Turre, down here in Almeria province, Spain. Stef had come over with his family, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a gig, so, one quick rehearsal, and we took the stage for 2 hours worth of rock classics, ranging from Led Zep, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Black Country Communion, Free, Bad Company, Thin Lizzy, Stevie Wonder…you name it, we gave it a go!
It was brilliant fun, and as I often mention on here, just great for me, as I don’t play all that often locally. Here’s a few examples from the night, but please bear in mind, it was recorded with a little camera and the sound quality is very Lo-Fi!!
We had such a good reception in fact, that who knows? The Kev Moore Band may ride again, down in the beach bars in the summer!
Our popular local magazine, The Sentinella, where my Kid Monsta cartoon strip appears monthly, was kind enough to give me the Front page for their July issue – and of course, The Kid was featured, sunbathing on Mojacar Playa! Pete and Jo, who run the magazine single-handedly (well, double-handedly) do a great job collating news and views from around the region, and putting it all out in the ‘little mag that fits in your bag’. Check out the online edition RIGHT HERE.
This month, I went a bit ‘topical’ with the comic strip, as you can see below:
Today, with not a little fear and trepidation, I presented for the very first time and exhibition of my artworks at El Retiro gallery, hosted by Curtis Helm in our village here in Turre.
I can stand in front of 1,000’s of people and sing, it’s my job, and I’m confident in my abilities, but my artwork is something I’ve kept much more to myself over the years, gradually allowing Miki to coax it out of its shell.
I was overjoyed then, to find it so well-received by the local community, selling one piece and a couple of my Blue Odyssey CD’s into the bargain! It was fun to see the public so engaged in the art, drawing comparisons with their own lives, kids, or experiences, or just enjoying the humour that I hope pervade the majority of them.
Certainly, for me, the interest, and of course the sale, gives me the necessary impetus to continue, and perhaps even exhibit again this year. So I can now order that bumper sticker that proudly exclaims; “My other job is ‘Artist’!”
If you want to buy any of my prints, click on the widget below:
Here in sleepy Turre, life rolls along at its own, distinctly Spanish pace, and us ‘locals’ usually have to make our own entertainment. So there I was in The Pasty Shack a few weeks back, watching a Clapton concert on the big screen, and Pete, who runs the local magazine said “we should have a reggae concert on”. Neil, the owner -with a background in Audio-Visual stagework for EMI – started mulling it over, and I said “well, you could show Marley at The Rainbow, and I’ll come and play a short reggae set!”
So there you have it – tonight The Pasty Shack will become The Rasta Shack, and I’ll run through some Reggae classics for the locals. Here’s my attempt at Bob Marley’s “Is this love”, with the backing vocals ably handled by my daughter, Hollie.
About an hour up the motorway from where we live, there is a small town called Lorca. It is famed for its spectacular Spanish fortress high on a ridge overlooking the town, under which the motorway passes, tunneled through the mountain – and it is famous for the spectacular Rock Festival that is held there every year, bringing the cream of heavy rock from around the world to this small corner of Spain.
But, while trawling the internet yesterday, Miki discovered that the Lorca Rock Festival is no more. This is just one more blow in a worrying trend. You see, they have a new Mayor. The Mayor doesn’t like Rock, or apparently, visitors, and has put such a huge amount of obstacles in the way of the organizers that they have found it impossible to continue. So the Lorca rock festival has died. How stupid can one man be? How short sighted? His vision is narrower than the tunnels that run beneath his Fortress. Much the same is happening in nearby Mojacar. The Mayoress here makes no secret of her dislike of the UK residents and tourists, to the extent that tourism here as all but dried up and the season, once as fulsome as a watermelon has shrunk to the size of an unpalatable prune. English couples, working on a dream of running a bar or some other service business here, are returning home dejected by the dozen. This area in particular, has experienced growth courtesy of the tourist euro from the Brits, French and Germans for over 30 years. Now it’s thanks very much, and goodnight.
The lack of foresight in Lorca and Mojacar is breathtaking. Only a couple of decades ago, these people were selling Asparagus by the side of the road to make ends meet. Now, every peasant that had a horse and cart drives a Mercedes. Mojacar was a dead village until the then Mayor (a man cut from considerably finer cloth than the current incumbent) offered up the empty houses at a tenner a throw – artists and musicians flocked here, and the village was reborn. They may have come a long way financially, but social finesse has been sacrificed on the altar of ‘progress’.
Does the Mayor of Lorca not realize that his town is known around the World because of the Lorca rock festival? Because of the song “Night train to Lorca” by The Pogues? Make no mistake Mr. Mayor, if you continue with this madness, your town will be little more than a forgotten archaeological footnote, barely visited.
Similarly, in Mojacar, the Mayoress is playing with fire. The Spanish tourists rarely spend money in the bars, the tourist industry locally is a fragile one, and is collapsing before our very eyes.
I must qualify this by saying our village, Turre, just 5 minutes away, seems to be run a little differently. But all it takes is a change of Mayor, someone who forgets, or who is too young to remember why this tiny forgotten area began to flourish in the first place, and it can happen here, and anyway, all these villages are in the same area, and the residents are hostages to the same ‘tourist eco-system)
The world economic crisis has badly affected the tourist trade, and steps should be taken to bolster it, not kick it while it’s down. The Brits, for one, are creatures of habit, and when they get into the habit of discovering that the likes of Florida and Turkey can offer more for less, they won’t come back.
Bring back the Tourists, and more importantly, BRING BACK THE ROCK!