Friday, June 02, 2006

Thursday afternoon in La Habana


Just back from Cantante for the Thursday Trabuco residency. As sets go; it wasn't my favourite - no Hablando en Serio. La Raspadura almost didn't make it either; but after they finished Locos; Manolito stepped out from behind the keyboards to the centre stage - someone - Amaray? - pointed at his watch to say "it's 8:30". Manolito waved him off and started them into the Mission Impossible intro to Raspadura. Yay! They followed it up with a sizzling version of Marcando la Distancia. Methinks these gigs are warm-ups for the European tour they leave for around June 24.
There was another band on before them - didn't catch the name. Timba; three boy singers. One in a string singlet. Bless. Trabuco didn't go on till at least 7. Probably after. It was busy. I forgot my earplugs, and after the first band finished, the DJ played a couple of salsa songs - I danced to La Buena with my Spanish teacher, Isabel - then launched into the reggaeton. Wandered out into the corridor to try and escape. Spoke to the trombonist - Rolando? Yolando? Saludoed El Indio and Chino. The were all lined up by the bar, except for Bencomo who was sitting at a big table with I don't know who else. So fucking dark in there, you can't see anything.
I was with the trombonist when the manager told them they were about to go on, so that was good. Got my water and Annabel and I went down to the front of stage.
The band started with an Amaray song from Locos I think. Damn. Followed it up with No te pases. Two strikes. Sigh.
Mayami's family was there I think. I'm pretty sure the chick they got up on stage was his mum - I didn't totally understand everything being said (last night's migraine appears to have obliterated what little Spanish I had). But when she got up on stage and turned around, you could see the top of her lace undies above her jeans; and Mayami quickly went behind her to tuck them in a bit more. She didn't seem to notice. El Indio was trying to get her to sing and she was a bit shy, then when she did sing, she wasn't really very good. Mayami had peeps in the crowd giving him rum all night. After the fourth or so cup; he smiled at the giver and shook his head; pointed to the foldback where he already had two other cups of rum, then tapped two fingers on his shoulder (Cuban for "boss") mimed playing piano and looked in Manolito's direction and shook his head: the boss will kill me if he sees this. That was pretty fucking funny.

Tanja's daughter?

A young girl got up and I couldn't understand what they were saying, but Annabel said they were saying she's Tanja's daughter. I find that hard to believe. She sang Ya no hace falta and I'm actually sick of that song now. Give it a rest. She could carry a tune and had a nice voice; but she couldn't sing a guia to save her life. Cute though. I didn't see a family resemblance.
Reasonably uneventful apart from that. I was still recuperating and videoing and stuff so I didn't really go off dance wise.


Me, and the god of drums, Riverón


Only week for me to go now. At the beginning of this week I was trying to change my ticket to stay another nine days; but yet another migraine later, I'm dying to go home now. Of course whenever I see Trabuco or Pupy or PFG, I want to stay here forever. But the days inbetween those gigs can be long. And they seem kind of a waste when you're lying in a dark room trying to kick a headache.
There are celebrations this weekend for the Industriales, who won the national baseball tournament. The rumour is that Van Van will play on the Malecon on Sunday; but there may be more happening. Have to keep my ear tuned to Disco Fiesta.
Charanga Habanera are on at La Cecilia tomorrow night but I think I'll skip it. A part of me thinks I should go, cause here I am in Havana, and there they are; and next week I'll be in Sydney and they'll be ... I dunno, in Europe or somewhere. But the other part of me knows that if I do go, those boyband vocals will just shit me to tears.

© Gabriel Wilder 2006

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