The place wasn’t as busy as last week - the upside of that was less aged extranjeros with their ripe Cubanas. The down side was that I just wished there were more people to enjoy the show. But as it became obvious that whoever had reserved the tables down the front wasn’t going to show, the people that were spread out at throughout the venue moved closer to the stage till there was a bunch of us, and the band, and it was kind of like a little party.
Samuell Formell was in the house, and after he got up for a little timbales solo - complete with strobe lighting (it’s a wonder he didn’t have a fit) he joined the posse at the table of the tremendo farandulero from Angeles de Habana at the foot of the stage. Samuell was very merry indeed and I even saw him do a little despelote with a young lady.
The guitarist I had seen play with the band the first week, but who had been missing the second, was back, and there was a new corista, a chica in green spike heels. Also: a new bongocero. Don’t know what happened to the cute tubby white guy.
They did three tropical songs - I actually like one of them (Historia verdadera - it’s full of catchy coros, one of which goes: Ay por dios/que boberia/si en la calle hay una pila de Marias) but I’ve no idea how to dance to it. There was a couple dancing casino to it but it didn’t really work - it was too fast. The guy was keen but the girl was a bit confused. Later on he asked me to dance casino - to reggaeton. I hate to discourage anyone from dancing casino anytime, but one has to draw the line somewhere.
After the show Alexander walked right up to me and said hello and gave me a kiss - I’ve never met him before. A killer trumpet player, purveyor of happy songs, and a kiss after the show as well. Can’t argue with any of that.
After the band finished, the whole area in front of the stage was full of musos all milling around drinking and hanging out. It reminded me of the Manzil Room in the '80s: a deadly hangout in Sydney where the bands had to do four sets a night and it was customary to be there until after the sun came up. I was once found myself there at 7.30am on Christmas Day. Of course in those days we didn’t have reggaeton, and here we do, and the cansancio combined with that belting rhythm (soon superseded by the belting rhythm of house) drove me from the Salon into the shouts of “taxi! taxi! taxi!”