The warm weather has continued which is really delightful. I guess the Europeans/North Americans who said winter is warm here weren’t lying after all - I just had some bad luck. Heh. It’s coolish in the afternoons and nights (for me), but the middle of the day is lovely.
The Trabuco Monday matinee wasn’t as crazy as the previous week’s but it was still super crowded. I got a spot down the front near Miguelito again, and watched Mayami come out for the opener, Sacude la mate, in an amazing almost Hitler Youth kind of outfit. OK, maybe not Hitler Youth. Maybe S&M boy scouts. I don’t know. There was some weird institution uniform vibe going on, with the beret planted precisely on his head and the vest and the tie tucked into it, then … the shorts and the short socks and sneakers. Good on him for keeping it interesting.
The $50MN entrada is like honey for the jineteros - both experienced and aspiring; there were even jineteros with training wheels. It was tiresome. I moved several times, and found the safest place was with some that I already knew that know I’m not interested and will leave me in peace. The band played Saliditas contigo - so lovely. And Mayami’s slow song and then La noche and the place went ballistic - there were elbows everywhere and I was on the move again, fearing for my teeth.
I was sitting down wondering what to do next. The band played a cumbia and made my mind up for me. I headed for the Parque Central where some friends were online then we went to a posh restaurant for a barbecued steak. A much more civilised proposition. The trio played some Jobim and, regrettably, Joel. There were no flying elbows.
• • •
Tuesday is Havana D’Primera’s insanely popular matinee at Miramar. About 3pm I got a migraine so that sorted me out for the rest of the day: 900mg panadol + 60mg codeine + bed.
La Rubia reported back that it was super-crowded. As opposed to just being seething with people.
At about 9 I had recovered sufficiently to be bored and rang Duni. He was home from rehearsal and tucking into frijoles negros. I went round to help him finish them off.
• • •
I had fears Pupy’s Wednesday matinee would be as crowded as HdP’s but it was just perfect really. Klimax’s Piloto was in the audience, and Ailyn turned up with a guy weighed down in gold who wasn’t Yasser (I don’t think - it’s kinda dark in there). She greeted me warmly and I was embarrassed because she put her hand on my back and it was covered with sweat because I had been dancing. And she always looks so cool. How does she do that? She was in skyscraper heels as usual, with big hair, both things together adding at least six inches to her height. If only I could walk in heels, instead of only stumble, I would do the same thing.
There was a fourth singer on stage. I had asked Duni what the rehearsal was for - he didn’t know. Then I forgot to ask him what happened when he got back. It was obviously for this muchacho. He was a young looking guy who sang coro and danced, then sang a ballad when they did the boring medley they had done on Christmas eve or whenever it was. He has a slightly odd voice - kind of velvety, but he totally sings in tune and his ballad got the biggest applause - don’t know if that was for his performance or if he was given the most popular song, as I don’t recognise any of them; Latin ballads not being permitted anywhere near my iTunes.
Yohan said later he was fresh from El ISA. Pupy’s daughter/manager had nothing more to add. She didn’t know what her father’s plans for him were. I’m the business; he’s the music, she said.
At the end of the gig, I saw a guy focused intently on a pocket Spanish English dictionary. What word are you looking for? I asked. He looked up. I said - you’re the guy! Duni had told me that on NYE he had met a guy from the X Files, but he couldn’t remember his name - or his character’s name. By a process of elimination, we arrived at Krychek - though I had had a brain snap and couldn’t for the life of me remember that name either even though I have seen the series more than once. (Well maybe not the really crappy final episodes.)
Anyway, it was the guy. He was there with a girl from Marbis’s group. Had a funny little chat with him then we all drifted outside aided by the stern admonitions of the bouncers. Once there I, lamentably, agreed to a drink in the garden with Duni and a few of his friends. On the plus side: Dayan was there looking dandy and being utterly charming. He told me he was going to dedicate all subsequent Pupy songs to me because I’m such a dedicated gig-goer and I said please don’t, it’s so embarrassing.
At Duni’s table the Cristals flowed, the stories were endless, and I faded with every minute. Every time I got up to go, they said, no, no, espera, nos vamos. Then they went and bought another beer. At 11, I literally fled, jumping up from the table and throwing a “Ihavetogoseeyoutomorrowbye” over my shoulder as I ran into the street. I was beyond knackered and relieved to find a taxi almost immediately. An early night was in order. The next day Marbis said to me, you know what time we left? 12.30!