Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Psychobilly Parrots? Bring forth the Norwegian Blues!

I think we headed back to Can Josep for lunch on Saturday but I can't be absolutely sure because by now things were beginning to all blur into one. If this is the first blog you've read on here you might want to go back a couple for things to make sense. To recap, the blur I refer to is the annual Psychobilly Meeting in Pineda De Mar, Spain. This was the fourth year in a row that I'd been and in all that time the only thing I appear to have learnt on this particular trip was to not drink red wine but switch to Sangria as there was more fruit in it. After lunch we headed back to the Irish Bar to watch England Ladies v France Ladies in the Women's World Cup quarter final. The French controlled a lot of the match but we had far the better chances and were unlucky to be only drawing 1-1 after extra time and thus inevitably lost the penalty shoot out that followed. That was two hours of my life I'll never get back. During the match we had four pints of guinness and were subjected to a loud busker who murdered just about every rock classic that's ever been written. Towards the end of the game he declared "I think it's time to move this gig inside" to which several people in the bar exclaimed simply "No it's not". He gave us a good excuse to leave. We grabbed some dinner in the hotel and then nipped round to the Norwegian ladies' apartment in Nostre Mar. They were a little surprised to see us but furnished us with beer anyway. They're very accommodating, the Norwegians. They also helped me out on a few of the many gaps of the previous few nights. Linda, for example, reminded me that I had called her a polar bear on a bicycle. I'm putting that down to Cannabis Absinthe and I'm sticking with it.

Linda the polar bear, Parrot shirt (2) indicating that this photo was taken the day before. I also appear to have grown an extra head out of my right shoulder which looks remarkably like Steve.

I think we went to Janet's quiet bar again but I can't be sure. What I CAN be sure of is that we were VERY late to the festival and missed half The Polecats' set. It also meant that Parrot Shirt 3 (My favourite) didn't get the response I felt it merited (I'm such a little queen, sometimes). That we then largely ignored Nekromantix at the end had more to do with the fact we were just having a really good laugh in the seated outdoor area with what appeared to be a huge amount of friends, many of whom I wasn't aware I had befriended on the ill-fated Thursday night when I had got vino tinto-ed. This was a late one. I don't think we got back until about 5am, but you know - it's all a bit patchy.

Parrot shirt 3 (Indicating Saturday) and two VERY good reasons to not bother watching Nekromantix

For Sunday lunch we returned to Janet's, and then bumped into our friends Helen & Adie who were departing to return to their lovely life on the Cote D'Asur. They gave me their tickets for the Sunday night and I bought them a bottle of Cannabis Absinthe. It was rude not to. We hit on the idea to give the slightly beleaguered Janet one of the tickets so she could have a rare night out. We'd taken her under our wing since the incident when Steve had ended up working in her bar for a bit when her waiting staff had failed to materialise. I left Steve to his own devices while I took a stroll up to Hotel Paradis to meet up with the band Restless. I've got to know Rob the drummer quite well and we had discussed me interviewing them. The fact that, as usual, my voice was hanging by a thread didn't perturb me but I got up there and we just had a beer and a bit of a laugh. They went for a lie down (they're not getting any younger) and I headed back to the Aqua, successfully negotiating the Irish bar without stopping. I must be maturing. Another shower, another shave, another four course meal in the hotel (life really had been tough) and we were on our way again to "The Tent On the Beach" for the last night of bands and it was a great one to finally get there relatively early for, in that we were there in time to see "Koefte & The Deviators" do a special tribute set to "Torment", one of my favourite Psychobilly bands from the 80s. They were absolutely brilliant.

Koefte Deville & The Deviators. Photo again courtesy of Billy Tombstone seeing as  my camera had run out of batteries and Steve is refusing to hand over any of the ones he took because he is a prissy little madam

The tent's not always that busy for a band so early on the bill but it was packed, great and arguably a highlight of the whole thing. I say "arguably" because I've missed so much of it I can't be sure. Parrot shirt 4 was also going down rather well and even had parrots on the collar and sleeves (A nice touch). The next band up were "The Griswalds" - another blast from the past who I had never seen live. They also did a really good set and played a few of my favourites of theirs but sadly "Robbie Robot" and "Gay Barndance" were not amongst them, more's the pity. So much Sangria had been consumed that the festival had run out of it (We played no small part in this) so Steve had the idea of getting us in to red wine and coca cola. By the time Restless emerged it was my drink of choice. Restless were, in my opinion, fabulous but a highlight of the gig for me was a bit they actually messed up. Mark (singer/guitar) messed up a line to the classic "Long Black Shiny Car", realised his mistake and stopped what he was doing, floundering to remember what it should have been. From the front row I helpfully screamed "She's found someone else who's richer by far!". He thanked me, did the line and said "Was that all right, Paul?". I nodded to the affirmative and felt very smug for the rest of the set. I stayed at the front just in case he needed any more help. He didn't.

On reflection, maybe it's not so surprising that Restless front man Mark (centre) messed up a line.

I kept seeing this guy who always appeared to be on his own. Knowing what that's like (I travelled alone the first time I came here in 2008) I went over to him and introduced myself. I offered to introduce him to a few people and he readily agreed. When we'd done a circuit he said "Thanks for that - right - I'm off to talk to my French mates", walked off and left me by myself. Typical. Janet thanked me for the ticket and said it had been the best night she had had in ages. Rob the drummer came out for a beer with us, everyobdy got a little emotional that the gigs at the fest were now all over and at some point we went home. Oh - Janet and I discovered we have a mutual friend, the comedian Lewis Schaffer. I'll leave you with a photo of him because it will caress his ego to know he has made my fabulous blog (!).

Lewis Schaffer. Bless Him. He's the only other Nottingham Forest fan on the comedy circuit. He's also very funny indeed.


  1. Quiet bar? Beleagured Janet? Oh, joy, that'll pack the house. Just for that, yes, you fell back in to Tradescantia on Saturday afternoon for fresh cherry mojitos and the sesame chicken the Irish girls raved to you about the night before (while Steve was pulling pints). Another lunch consumed - your cover's blown! Love the photo of Lewis. He hasn't changed in 35 years. - Janet

  2. Aha! Well found! Yes I'm afraid I've got all my days confused and the Cherry Mojito hasn't helped in that respect. As for Lewis - I should think he dies his hair.


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