Thursday, May 29, 2008
Manos pa'rriba medicos!
Got a phone call from Reve bajista Aisar saying they had a gig at a medical school and if we wanted to go, to meet him immediately at Parque Central to take the guagua with the band. We got hassled by jineteros while we waited, of course, as Parque Central is actually Jintero Central. Where are we playing? the trombonistas asked us while we waited for various musos to arrive. Then we got in the old jalopy and headed out. Way out - we passed the Tropicana, then the buildings got more decayed and crumbly and the banana trees got more pervasive. Until finally we arrived at the Faculty of Medical Science just as the heavens opened and a tremendous storm began.
We were greeted like stars (because the people we were with were stars) and led into a closed off, air-conditioned room with drawn blinds and boarded up windows, where tables had been laid with sausages, fetta style cheese, pineapple, and some very pretty purple bougainvillea blooms. Everyone that had been on the bus tucked in, but we were short four musicos, plus Elito himself. So afterwards, we sat around and chatted, and chatted, and chatted; while the rain poured down. Many topics were covered: Manolito’s latest disc, the amount of people at the recent Tribuna gigs; their crazy fans; Pupy’s recent line-up changes; Barack Obama.
Slowly the missing musos arrived, but not all of them. We had arrived about 3pm. By 6pm, the band still hadn’t played. The sonidista was pumping out recorded music - Alain Daniel, Manolín, some reggaeton, a bit of bachata. We were waiting now for Pachi, then when he finally arrived, Elito left the city (ay dios mio!) to come to the gig. So that was another half an hour waiting for him to turn up. Of course the rum had come out a couple of hours earlier, but there was only so much of it, and no one was really the worse the wear.
So finally, about 6.30, Elito arrived and the show got under way. It was a lot of fun - students dancing, with stethoscopes swinging around their necks - and you should see what those chicks wear under their white coats! The band played for just over an hour, which I thought was decent - no Sancochar boniato, but plenty of good stuff, and the crowd loved it. They put on a great show considering the circumstances, although Elito wasn’t very energised - which didn’t really matter as the others made up for it.
The sky grew grey and it threatened to rain again, but it didn’t. After they closed with Se sigue comentando, we were treated to chicken and rice, then got back in the jalopy to come back into town. In Diez de Octubre (still a fair way out of town), the bus broke down. We all sat in it, while the driver tinkered with it, before he finally botado the lot of us and we all fought over the few available taxis in the calle.
It was a hell of an adventure.
I was hoping to get some rest before seeing Havana D'Primera, but we had an interview to do with Aisar (look for it soonish at timba.com). He is very smart and articulate and had lots of interesting things to say (some of them not for publication). They are playing Salon Rojo tomorrow night, but first, in the Red Room, was the regular Havana D’Primera peña. Yay.
It’s only been a week since I last saw them play but it seems like ages! The star studded event consisted of the usual faranduleros (the guys from Angeles de la Habana) with the latest addition to the farandula (Samuell Formell), some singers from Sexto Sentido, and a couple of guys from Gente d’Zona. Phew!
Great gig as usual, Alexander trayendo el alegría, como siempre. Cameos from everyone present (except the ladies). I’m too tired to say more: just know that everyone loved it. Alexander is talented and charismatic and kind and makes everyone in the house happy. Amen.
Posted by Yemaya at 6:20 pm