Dropping in on the beautiful city of Cordoba is something to look forward to and the opportunity to stay in town after the show meant we could meet up with our dear friend Vicente Amigo. Nine years ago, Vicente came to the same venue and saw us for the first time, which led to him calling upon me to produce an album using some of Mark’s band. ‘Tierra’ was recorded at British Grove with Mike, John and Danny from the band.
Under cloudless skies across central Spain, we departed the Villa Magna in Madrid, headed once more for our plane and a very short and sweet trip South. Daniella served up small plates of delicious seafood and we were taxiing at Cordoba’s deserted airfield before we knew it.
Early Summer is an unusual time for us to tour Spain but this meant that the temperatures were a lot more bearable than last time when I recall us needing to delay show time due to excessive evening heat. Nonetheless, it was pretty warm during sound check. Thankfully the stage was facing away from the direct sunlight, crew and gear being spared a direct solar assault.
No changes to the set but we worked on a few monitor changes and arrangement modifications during sound check. Then it was off to catering where I found Dave and Steve menu-building. The daily routine where the evening menu is created. Chef Dave stunned us all again. I went for the blackened Tuna on a Sweet Potato and Salsa bed. Insane.
Dined and rested with a quick disco nap, we started getting ready when Vicente came backstage along with Chris Ortiz, Vicente’s manager, friend and our promoter. Chris is one of those wonderful guys who simply makes things happen with minimal fuss, great to have as a friend. It’s always special to see Vicente and we chatted for a while before show time. Vicente and his music, exudes ‘duende‘, a Spanish term for a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity, often connected with flamenco. The term derives from the duende, an elf or goblin-like creature in Spanish and Latin American folklore.
Evening drew in and the night was indeed young as the show got under way. The atmosphere in the bullring was electric and the show had many moments both dramatic, moving and frankly, scary. By the time we finished playing, it was truly hard to leave the stage. The noise was deafening and the emotion coming to us from this incredible audience, palpable. We left the arena and headed to our hotel in the middle of old town Cordoba, Chris and Vicente weren’t far behind and a typically Spanish late night session began. The bar staff eventually left us to it, Richard Bennett took over behind the taps.