March in Valencia is a total write off. The Fallas (or Falles) festival consumes everyone. Roads are closed, streets are mobbed and people are setting off explosive devices everywhere. We managed to stay out of the mayhem as we had music to make but did enjoy time with Suzy's great friend Carrie English.
We met up with the very ebullient Carrie and immediately visited one of the many firework stores that open especially for the Fallas festival. She bought an array of explosives. Little tanks that moved and shot fire, bees that buzz up, helicopters and just things that go bang - when I mean bang I mean BANG - these would be banned in the UK for sure.
Pictured here in the excellent UBIK Cafe where we just happen to have a gig on May 18th :)
Calle Dénia is on the edge of the very cool and bohemian Ruzafa district of Valencia. One day walking down from The Slaughterhouse we found HVC, a vintage guitar shop owned by the very charismatic Octavio Valero. He just happens to be a partner in BigTone Amplification.
Suzy and I visited their workshop with Octavio, Mercedes (his Señorita) and business partner / chief designer Jose Manuel Torrelo Ponce. They have asked me to record a video for their brand new Studio Lux 22 - the studio and camera crew are booked for May. I am excited!
Of course, as with all things in España, the meeting was preceded by lunch and lashings of Vino Tinto. And what a lunch it was! Les Tendes is one of the best old school Tapas establishments in Valencia. They don't take bookings and when we arrived it was packed.
It was worth the wait...
When in Octavio's store we met the very talented Rober Molino in Octavio's store. He invited us to see his band EGM performing at Café del Duende with Flamenco artist Isabel Julve. The venue is famous and I suspected it was a tourist trap but I was wrong. It was packed with locals and a spattering of sophisticated tourists.
They were ace and Isabel had the audience by the balls... We were riveted and a totally unexpected two hours flew by.
One of the best live gigs I have ever seen and that's saying something...
There are constructions like this in virtually every square in Valencia and just mere feet away from multistorey buildings; some being as tall as.
Most are made of expanded polystyrene. And guess what, around midnight on March 19th ( La Cremà), they set fire to them.
The heat is searing, the smoke asphyxiating. Fantastic :)
My very talented fiancée pictured with a big furry panda. Now which is which?
And that's it for now. See you all next time...