One of my photos


January 13th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Music · No Comments · Life, Music

After Christmas I treated myself to a couple of things on Amazon, notionally using some xmas money from Mum (happy birthday today BTW – 70 candles!).  Unfortunately they had not quite arrived when the snow fell and so they didn’t get delivered here until today, when the postman brought a huge backlog of mail – including the new Baaba Maal album, Television, and Manu Chao’s Baionarena, and what a bargain that is!The price of Baionarena has crept up to £11.98 on Amazon, but it was only £8.98 when I ordered it.  Even at twelve quid it is a steal though: a complete concert on CD (33 tracks spread over 2 CDs) and also the whole thing on DVD.

I was chuffed because it is from the Tombola tour and so effectively the same show that Jayne and I saw in Kentish Town.  I have ripped the audio to the PC so I can listen to it on the Zen, and had a quick look at the DVD – only on the PC, so no 5.1 surround or anything.

The show is in an outdoors arena so the atmosphere is quite different to Kentish Town anyway, but while flicking through it somthing seemed strange, then I realised that it was because the majority of the crowd were dressed the same, with white shirts and red neck scarves.  Manu Chao and Gambeat also had red scarves on.

I don’t like not understanding something so I did a bit of Googling and found that the concert was in Bayonne, which is in the Basque region of France, right near the border with Spain which makes it a perfect venue for a Manu Chao concert, being as much Spanish as French.   The red and white combo is a sort of national dress for the place and at the main festivals everybody wears it.

The concert was recorded right at the start of the big festival when the town would have been gearing up for a week of celebrations, drinking and (unfortunately) bull fighting.  Must have been one hell of an atmosphere around the place.

I feel my mind has been broadened just a little bit today.  This morning I had never heard of Bayonne/Baiona and now its on my mental list of interesting places that would be nice to visit but I know I never will.

If I’m honest, the concert itself is pretty bloody relentless.  Non-fans would be advised to take it in small doses rather than one session.  I was just glad to see than band back with percussion and a trumpet: the second time I saw them they were down to a five-piece and lacked a bit of depth I thought.

I much preferred the 10-man version I first saw, with the trombone and accordion as well as the second vocalist, but the current line-up will do, and having the old Mano Negra percussionist returning is a distinct bonus as it means the band can add Sidi ‘h’ Bibi to the set list.

Does it show that I am chuffed with how much entertainment, education and nostalgia can be wrung out of a mere nine quid these days?   Now waiting for Jayne to be out one night so I can put the DVD on loud, fire up the bass guitar and try to emulate Gambeat’s basslines.

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