Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer in the village means lots of Late night music

Our hot summer continues, fueled by warm winds from the south. The village is now at capacity, full of August visitors from northern climes. And we ourselves  have overseas visitors back from a whirlwind tour of Spain. Friday night we visit the neighbouring village of Selva del Mar to watch live band performances in the town square, which is transformed with a stage, loads of chairs and a huge beer concession. It's amazing that everything can fit into this usually tranquil spot under the giant plane trees.

First of all we met up with Teresa, late of the pizza restaurant. We hear all the details about her departure from Sol de Nit and her plans for the future, and what plans they are. She and Antonello are going to serve dinners in their home and not just pizza. This will start sometime in October. I am really looking forward to these fun nights out.

Meanwhile it is past 11:30 and the first band whose name is something like 'Malli Vanilli' begins. They appear decked out in wigs that they seem to enjoy turning around on their heads. None of us could figure out the point of this. And they could talk. Between every number was so much chatting in Catalan that we wondered if they were children's entertainers. When they did actually get playing they were quite good but they seemed to have perfected their talking rather than their playing. At 2:00 am the next entertainer came on, a folksy rock and roll singer, who sang very abbreviated numbers. It was time to go home. This was a disappointment compared to last year. Never mind, there is tomorrow night with new bands.

On Saturday we visited Empuriabrava, showing our guests the Venice of the Emporda with all the fishermen's houses on the canals. Then it was down to the beach for a long awaited pizza. I thoroughly enjoyed my arugula, buffalo mozzarella and bresaula pizza. Delicious. Then it was a long walk down the beautiful, sandy beach splashing our way along in the surf.

Tonight in the Port we enjoyed the walk of the gigantes, who twirled and danced their way up the street. The gigantes have giant heads made of plaster of Paris and papier mâché. The frame of the body is hidden with cloth and someone controls the gigante from inside. These are popular throughout Spain and often represent figures from the town's history. There was also a cabezudo, who has a similar sized head that is carried on his body. Everyone loves these unique characters.

Once again it was the magic hour, 11:30. Time to return for the second night of bands in Selva del Mar, which was even busier than the night before. The first band was quite good playing music that was recognizable before it drifted off into something else. At least it was entertaining. It was fun watching the people in the audience, from very young to very old. At 2:00 the second band came on with a storm. The lead singer for some reason was decked out in a mask. Why? We don't know. His first number, garage, punk or whatever it was was so loud. We decided to give the band a chance but the second, again very loud, Catalan rap song wasn't great. By this time there was a great swath of empty chairs appearing near us. At the beginning of the third song it was time to go and give our shattered brains time to recover. 

Sunday was a beach day. Now the beaches are very busy but once you are in the warm water swimming it is heaven. In the late evening it was time to go and watch Playback, where the performers from the village mime to a selection of music covering many eras and genres. It is all taken very seriously with wonderful costumes and some superb performances. It was the same show that was performed in the ballroom in June for three nights but this time on an outdoor stage with hundreds of people in the audience. There were no chairs left when we arrived. Fortunately, we used two of our beach chairs, while the men gallantly stood for the three hours. Some of my favourites were the mayor and his wife singing, "Get it On,", the wonderful Can Can dancers, the Spanish tenor and of course the hairy men singing, "I'm Sexy and I Know It."

After Playback, disco music played until four or possibly five in the morning. It can be very noisy in August with discos and partying going on well into the morning. The electric guitarist practicing his riffs, using his amplifier, at 5:30 am was not appreciated. Our tranquility is only a distant memory now.


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