Saturday, 29 May 2010

Sounds Like Primavera

Gareth Campesinos! se acerca sus fans. Gareth Campesinos! gets close to his fans.

Estoy escribiendo este con una rasaca depués de dos noches de la musica, la cerveza y corriendo entre escenarios. Y tenemos tres más antes del fin. Sí, la Primavera Sound ha llegado en BCN de nuevo. 

Obviamente, no puedo blog sobre la mayoría de los grupos ya que actuan fuera del barrio (en el Forum) - pero tres acutaron en el Apolo como un calamiento del festival real. Y por lo tanto no es romper las reglas escribir sobre ellos.

I'm writing this with a hangover after two nights of music, beer, and running frantically between stages. 
And we have three more to go. Yes, Primavera Sound has come around to Barcelona again.

Obviously I can't write about most of the bands as they're performing outside Poble-sec (at the Forum, in fact) - but three groups played at the Apolo as a warm-up to the festival proper, so it's not bending the rules to blog them.

Peggy Sue son un grupo indie-folk de Brighton, Rieno Unido. Como todos del los grupos estan con Wichita Recordings y el motivo  por el concierto es mostrae el talente de la compañía discografíca. 

Hace pocos años nunca aparaceron conjuntas las palabras "folk", "grupo", "concierto" y "fuí" en mi vocabulario. 

Como un "indie kid" de los años ochentas tenía muchos sospechos de frikis barbudos llevando sombreros y tancando guitarras SIN ELECTRICIDAD. Sin embargo hoy en dia es imposible ser un fan de la musíca contemparanía y evitar escuchar el llamada New Folk o Anti-Folk. Y cuando lo escuches... pués tienes que confesar  - esta mola. 

Peggy Sue is an indie-folk band from Brighton, UK. Like all the the groups that night, they were with the Wichita Recording label, and he whole concert was clearly a showcase for the prodigious talent with that record company.  

Only a few years ago you would never hear me utter the words "folk", "concert" and "I went to a" in the same sentence. As an 80s indie kid I was roundly suspicious of beardy-wierdies spòrting hats and playing non-electric guitars. However, these days it's impossible to be a music fan and not listen to so called New Folk or Anti-Folk. And when you give it a chance, you have to admit - it rocks.

El grupo proximo fue First Aid Kit. "Sueco First Aid Kit, porque ya hay un grupo barcelonés con nuestro nombre," gruñio Johanna (o Klara) Soderberg una de las dos hermanas. Su musica es aún más folk que Peggy Sue, con toques de ABBA y faldas más cortas. Muy agredable.

The next group were First Aid Kit. "Sueco (Swedish) First Aid Kit because there's already a band with out name in Barcelona," growled Johanna (or Klara) Soderberg, one of the two sisters who make up the group. There music was even more folky than Peggy Sue's - with a few touches of ABBA - and shorter skirts. Nice.

Pero lo mejor gusto - y menos folky - de la noche fue Los Campesinos! "Somos Los Campesinos!" dijo Gareth, el vocalista. "De Cardiff, Gales," añadio. Los ocho musicos en el escenario cantaban griban y tocaban con toda la energía que tuvieran. Empezaron con el leyandario "Death To Los Campensinos!" - un favorito mio. Aqui es el video en directo, gracia a Andy Prayer:

But the biggest treat - and not-very-folky-at-all was Los Campesinos! "We're Los Campesinos!" yelled lead singer Gareth, sporting a Malta football shirt. "From Wales, he added." The eight musicians onstage sang, played, screamed and played their hearts out. They kicked off with the legendary "Death To Los Campesinos!"  - a favourite of mine. Here's the live video, with many thanks to Andy Prayer:

Pero lo más descatado de la noche fue Gareth y su guitarista saltando del escenario con el motivo a cantar y bailar con sus fans. Saqué unas fotos de esto.

But the highlight of the evening was when Gareth and his guitarist leapt from the stage in order to sing and dance with their fans. I took a few snaps.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

All The News That's Unfit To Print

On a day that sees the possible meltdown of the Eurozone, the crushing of the Red Shirt protesters in Thailand, increased threats to bomb the bejesus out of Iran and  - worst of all -  the invasion of Atletico Madrid  fans here in the sacred earth of el Poble-sec, the time seems ripe to update y'all on what has been going down in the barri. After all, it may be my last chance before the lights go out all over Europe.

First up, work of some description has re-started on the Plaça Navas, after a three-year hiatus first due to the discovery of a Civil War era air raid shelter, then the bankruptcy of the constructor. The opening of the remodeled square and its underground carpark is slated for December 2011. We bring you the following (belated) report from our good friends at BTV, Barcelona's premier news source:

In more important news, it appears that some information on this site is out of date and needs correcting. One reader helpfully pointed out that Tapíoles 53 has ceased opening for lunchtime menu de días. If you wish to sample the fare of this garden of earthly delights you will now have to dig deep and dine after dusk.

In better news for gourmands in the area, Luki has now started opening on a Sunday night until 12, and I strongly suggest you check out this great new-ish addition to the Poble-sec scene - after reading my  blog posting first, of course. 

In sports news, U E Poble-sec (latest chant - "Poble-sec - es un tsunami!) won an exciting match against Gimnastica Iberiana and as of the time of writing are fairly clear of the relegation zone with only a few more matches to play. Check out their current status yourself - if you can be bothered by following this link and choosing Primera Catalana from the drop-down menu. 

In related news, bitter recriminations are mounting against the local sports facility authority due to vast hikes in the fees being charged to local sports associations. So now we know how they could afford the half a million Euro astroturfing of La Satàlia - U E Poble-sec's home ground.

And in a late breaking story, we hear that the Red Shirt leaders in Thailand have given themselves up to the authorities. Let the show trials and executions begin...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Las Aves Competen Por Espacio Aéreo

Una gaviota come una urraca. One for sorrow - a seagull tucks into a tasty magpie.

Fue algo bastante ironíco. Mientras caminaba a casa por Montjüic, ví una urraca (Pica pica) - bien conocido como carroñera - siendo comido por una gaviota (Larus argentatus). Eso es la cara más feo de la vida aviar que he visto en el barrio. 

Usualmente, las aves de Barcelona son una fuente de placer, no desgusto para mí. Desde las lavanderas blancas (Motacilla blanca), no menos encantadoras y delicadas por sean  tan comúnes, hasta las cotorras monjes (Myopsitta monachus), graznido y con plumaje verde chillón.

Pero lo más especial es el sonido de las aves veraneante volviendo al barrio por pasar los meses más calorosos aqui. Son tres - los aviones communes (Delichon urbica - izquierda) y los vencejos (Opus opus - derecha, arriba)  - muy semejantes- y por supuesto las golodrinas (Hirundo rustica - derecha, abajo).

Birds Compete For Airspace

It was a somewhat ironic sight I witnessed as I walked down Montjüic on my way home. A Magpie (Pica pica)  - a well-known comsumer of carrion - was being eaten by a Herring Gull (Larus argentatus). This was surely one of the ugliest faces of the avian population I've seen in Poble Sec.

Usually the bird life in the barri is a great source of pleasure, rather than disgust - from the  Pied Wagtails (Motacilla blanca) - no less charming for being a very common sight - to the Monk Parakeets - squawking away in their garish green plumage. 

But the most alluring bird calls of the year come with the return of the three principle summer visitors to the city and its surroundings: the very similar Martins (Delichon urbica - left, top) and Swifts (Opus opus - top right)  - and of course the Swallows (Hirundo rustica - bottom right).

New Barca Supporters Club In Poble Sec

On the 8th May the Penya Blaugrana Les Tres Xemeneies - one of the city's many Barcelona Football Club supporters organisations -  had its official opening featuring much merriment, a display of trophies FCB currently has, including the European Cup (as seen above with a Barca fan who will remain nameless). A day of festivities including a paella popular was capped with a live screening of the Blaugranas beating Seville 2 - 3 away from home and a lot of beer swilling.

El 8 de Mayo el Peña Les Tres Xemeneis disfrutó su inaugracion oficial. El dia incluyó mucho alegría, una exposición de varios trofeos que tiene El Barca actualmente, incluyendo La Copa Europea (como se ve arriba) en la mano de una hincha del Barca, que permanecerá anonima). Un dia de celebraciónes incluyó una paella popular, se colmó con una proyección de la victoria contra Sevilla 2 - 3 - y mucho cerveza.