Music Friend-spina’ Lisabona

Thursday 7 July Lisabona

Barely arrived. Swinging through Delillo pages. A smidge of “Human Moments“… and early sketches of “Starveling” as I walk the hallways out and uber myself downtown Lisbon. Dusting off memories of Portugal, the streets of Porto, the footprints of Bona. Fernando Pesoa still resonant.

Ne adunam (Dan, Daria, Ariana, Mihai et moi) in mansarda mirosind a Carturesti a unei case cu 5-6 etaje mari. Bem vin alb si ne tragem tatuaje intr-o veselie. Daria – our tattooeypig broke the ice. A blowing danddelion hanging off the corner of my mouth. Us kids we don’t speak yet, but ruffle our skirts pe franjuri de muzica cast out of a corner of the room. Left my phone on “hurducă-mă fain” mode.

Am bagat si nite shodouă, o fantezie a bit weird portugheza. A bit meh.. Ariana had the same reaction. The “frunza verde cioco flakes” din NOLA hidden on the top raft in the fridge. Dan și yo am bagat putin sub limba. And stashed the rest away from Daria. Nu de alta, but a floating 5yr old is not in the program this week.

Off out pe faleza, passing by the Praca du Comercio. Open breath!

mergem sa mancam ceva in nu stiu ce fantezie gurmanda de-a lui Dan. Un buric de piata inconjurata de master-șefi. Visul lui erotic.

Bun. He’s mockplaying a guide now, showing us buildings, storytelling. Better get to watching and living it now.

Anca, tii minte strazile alea de langa faleza pe care ne rataceam inconjurand de enshpe ori portul si negasind iesirea din centru? still under construction two years after out trip. Trebuie doar sa ma uit daca au miscat sau nu roaba aia din loc :-).

Papat, de mi-a iesit pe nas. Excese. Some whine. Un pic veseli, Dan le pune fetelor Sexual Harrassement and You de Saturday Night Live. Eu o vad in reluare, the radio version fills in the gaps.

Apoi hopa intr-un tuk-tuk electric, ca era coada prea mare la tren. “Eu am avut prima ideea!” abia se aude Daria intre rasete si glume de asfalt.
“E ora Dariei de schlaffen” zice tat’su. Guess again!
Some quirky groupshots. Dan vrea sa opreasca o masina scotand un picior afara. Ii pune el o talpa pe radiator!

Am intrat. Inca o bratara – a enșpecâtea pe anu asta.

A roundabeers. Dan si Delia fuga la 1975 pe scena mare. Me and the kidgang left on NOS Clubbing stage, cu Xinobi.

Topaim, inclusiv asta mica, pana cand se parcheaza intre jenti si parca ar soili oleaca. Pink noise reductions and all.


Pe ea, Ari si Mihai I-am lasat langa un gard. Typical fest jemenfishism 🙂
Now skidding along various boot distractions next to main stage – some jumping from 6-7m high, some girls at a (condom related) talent show ministage, some adverting nu stiu ce masina. Pana au incept:

Biffy Clyro pe scena principala.
Very young crowd. Plete, tatuaje. A pure hard rock metal performance pe alocuri.

Dan ma tot chema in mijloc, iar eu ma strecuram skin in skin  cu toti bezmeleuții. 17-27s all around me. There’s always a song-player for each fresh teeners. The energizers of this generation are Biffy now. Engaging, chiar. Nu stiam niciun vers, nicio faza, dar zdupăiam fix pe bombeul muzicii. You can dive into this menwave anytime if you listen.

Turns out I was on a different stage than the rest of the gang. M-am lasat dus greu.. but found them on a background stage cu Vintage Trouble. Dan, Delia and Ari.

“Un negru din New Orleans cu băieții lui albi” zice omu – dixieland style. Dar ce le-a luat inima amicilor mei e argintul viu din omul asta. Acum pe scena, acum in multime, acun traversand arena in maini printre oameni.
I-am prins pe ultimele doua cantece. Extaziati. Niste ritmuri ce angrenau adhoc rapaituri de aplauze ritmice asa la 4 pe secunda. Un gerunziu ce vibra in oameni. Tacataca, mai ceva ca in Baraka.

Passing onto a Fado side bar. Simpatic. Raquel Tavares. Jolty.
Fado dedicated stage. De-ale Cri-Micilor. Rupta din perioda aia barseloneza, cand am dat peste ei intr-un miez de iarna si am colindat gradinile lui Dali.

John Grant. A slowrock. Melodic asa…progressive. Suna mai bine decat ma asteptam initial. Dar ma târăște Dan la Robert Plant on main stage. Cred ca stie programma pe de rost. Mie imi scapase.

Apar si Rox cu blondamica intre timp. Ne sarumânăm in buza multimii langa Plant.

Walking through the legends of Led Zep. Baby I’m Gonna … and Soul of a Woman, and and…. He got old, a preserved wiser version of him. Dan says he was not top shape today, but definitely still held show magic. He’d recently seen him elsewhere. But I still felt like coming closer to the stage. See him front face! A lit of folk and country references, from outfit, to instruments, sound of new stuff he’s putting on.

But interspersed with a few good old numbers. That’s when energies come together and gradually this all builds into a massively contagious crowd craze. Boosting Plant into a splendid state.

This IS what ages of my love and freedom fantasies have all been filled with. That drama and explosion of spirit. I’m 18 again. I’m 21, I’m 25, 27, 30, 35. I’m 70, seventies. A band and voice to melt a century. I watch around. Wonder whether this would have lasted without him or the other guys alive and touring.

Whole Lotta Love! outta Live!



Over to Wolf Alice. Ellie Rowsellthe lead vocal /guitar- seems a  twin of Kirsten Stewart. With that same late teenage (=mid 20s) energy. She’s lovely indeed. A good voice when she emphasises it. But somehow lost in grunge  virtuosities otherwise. Joff Oddie sparkling on guitar.

But I felt that John Grant, with a lot more restraint performed a lot better and had a much better lyrical and ingenuity output on the same stage 2 hours earlier.

Pixies. Sorry, but once again I find that save for 1-2 obvious songs, this is a band that just passes me by. My body was already aching from the very few hours of weekly sleep and physical demand of the mountain race, the dance classes, the cheap airlines, etc. So crouched down getting bumped-in time after time by concert ravers jumping or moving about. Stocked up on energy for Chemical Bros later. But still jumped out of my clothes with lyrical joy on “Where Is My Mind”.

Dan and fam were much more attached to them. So it’s a matter of preference then. Daria was stoically flying on the smiles and energies of all of us. Jumping on Mihai’s or Dan’s shoulders. Sclipici peste tot!

An hour break then. All of us (mai putin Ari si Dari who’d left now) slacked on the artificial grass dozing into the night by the sea chill. Midnight to 1:00 AM. When the flashes volt-spring us straight in the air: “Hey Boy! Hey Girl! Superstar DJs, Here we gooo!”

A fantabulous at times, weirdly gothic or anthropo-mythic, body kinetic, or robo electric stage design with the brothers hidden beneath clouds of smoke and special visual/light effects. A good part of the stage album was simply just visually engaging, didn’t get me going.
The tongue in cheek symbolism did though. A special sequence of iconography with deities and stained glass floral effects, in rapid succession, followed by a rapid fire mosaic of images as if from a demonologic bestiary. Was thinking how much this interferes with my religious markers and whether it cuts through the blanket of spiritual integrity or not. Is it challenging?, is it revealing of anything? Plotless clips of course like a collage of postmodern deconstructions. The fast paced succession made obvious a difference in texture: a clear cut, clear outlined profile for divinity, as intricate as it would be, symmetry and vertical direction. Versus smudges of colours, broken outline, side glanced, swerving, bulging emanations, smeared expressivity for the demons. Akin to painting in watercolour and making a mess of it. (though funny how watercolour / acuarela sounds very innocuous).
The damnation is in the hand of the painter then (and the dogmatic norms of representation). No surprise. But then that’s where my aesthetic preference lies. In the smears of paint and overlapping of forms, intrusions. The transgressive forms in Gerhard Richter. But isn’t that more human?

A blurry fury of exactly such black and white erasures / transparencies of self follows right after, in wide strips across the wide screens.

Rest of our team already gone home. But I stayed a while after this night late show, fishing the vibe of the place on a couple more stages. The Clubbing and the Heineken Palcos (adica scenes). Electronic raves on the latter. Crowd afull. All following in after Chemical. Ok, ok ok. The party was still going on.

The Clubbing had a couple of energetic portuguese, with some latin/hip hop moves si o răpăială de cuvinte. Throes + The Shine. Loved the moves of the one dancing.

Left at 3:15, got the 4:00 train. Long walk on the motorway passing through the skyline. Flows and flows of us, bobbing through in slumber afterwaves. Crouching on the crowded sleepy platform waiting. Some sort of familiarity of strangers.

Sleepwalked home then. Side glancing a girl who looked like… whom? Don’t know now. She looked back. Pausing.

But that was it. Crashed at something past 5:00 AM.


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