We awoke in our ‘student accom’ as it was a university show the night before. There was no internet (we hotspotted for the León blog), it was single beds and generic corridors, but this tired it didn’t matter. In the morning, my body had recovered a little from the physical reality of travelling to and playing the first show in a while. We’d planned to meet Juancho at the cathedral, but we wanted to go around the corner first to the comic store because it was called Elektra with a K, Olivia’s middle name. Alicia who ran it was a friend of Juancho’s (she plays the bass too). She had a poster of our show on her front door. Sadly, she missed the show because she was rehearsing. She was sooo nice and gave me a big Ziggy Stardust poster that I intend to frame and put on the studio wall. Thank you, Alicia.
We went across the road for a coffee and bizcocho which seems to be cake that you get whether you ask for it or not. It’s hard to refuse and the woman insisted it was low in sugar, although I’m not sure she was telling the truth. We left and walked through the city past the cathedral, winding our way through ancient Spanish streets until we came to Juancho’s record shop, Lizard Records.
Inside, I found so many great records, I don’t know where to start to tell you about it. Free – Fire and Water (1970), sorry, I mean Fuego y Agua, a great one for the different cover collection, The Blue Nile – Hats (1989), I only ever had a CD of it. Two Spanish Be-Bop Deluxe albums, Axe Victim (1974) and Sunburst Finish (1976). The first Cockney Rebel album The Human Menagerie (1973), I have this already, but this copy was in such nice condition – I could go on, but how much time is there in a day? Juancho kindly gave me a copy of Robyn Hitchcock’s new album Shufflemania (2022) and a copy of the Kurt Baker album that he plays on, Let’s Go Wild (2018) – he plays bass with both of them as well as with Paul Collins‘ Beat…and more. I also got a vinyl copy of Grant Lee Buffalo’s Fuzzy (1993/2023), another record I only ever had on CD. A Spanish Icicle Works – If You Want To Defeat Your Enemy Sing His Song (1987). An Italian Groundhogs – Split (1971) on Akarma with a super treble thick cardboard sleeve as Akarma records tend to have. A Spanish Jeff Beck – Blow by Blow (1975) and a Spanish Best of T. Rex – 1971/1989 on Flyback. All great records and more, Juancho gave me a great deal, top bloke, The Archive grows. Have I talked about my collection of Ian Dury’s Do It Yourself, allegedly there are 34 different covers (at least), I have about 17 of them, haha, send me pics if you see one, I may not have it.
We drove approximately three hours to the next show in Lugo in Galicia. A nice drive through the Spanish countryside, finding our way through the mountains, driving over viaducts and valleys until we arrived in Lugo where soundcheck wasn’t until 8 PM. It was colder here than in León, having said that, León was colder than Porto. It’s higher up here and you feel the chill at night. We checked into our apartment and almost immediately went out to buy some contact spray. We walked past two old ladies sitting on a bench, it was dark. I said, “Frio” – “Nooooo,” they said…it’s how I feel in Porto.
The gig was close and situated in a classic narrow Spanish street on a hill. It was an old jazz club and was perfect for the kind of thing that Olivia and I do. Nice staff and a really great and involved as well as listening audience. It’s good to know that we can play to people in a small town in Spain and the whole thing be a success. A fun night of speaking Spanish, telling stories, and playing with Olivia. Sarah was doing a great job of driving the car through narrow streets, backwards and forwards, and then looking after the stage after the show, someone has to do that whilst we are engaged in furious photo taking, thank you, Sarah.
Back at the ranch, I was going to write this, but I was so tired, Ghost Whisperer was on the television dubbed into Spanish. I stared at the TV, too tired to type, and then my ‘eye thing’ happened, so I went to bed. No time, too late, needed to sleep, here I am now, late but here.