I flew to Santiago de Compostela on 3 January. Next day, I took a train to A Coruña. Next day, I went by coach to Oviedo. On those days, none of these cities had much to offer in terms of live music although I think I caught a glipmse of my friends The Blue Ribbon Healers busking on the street in A Coruña. (I did not have any time to stop: I was on a mission to discover a tapa place, and it was freezing outside.) In Oviedo, I saw a magnificent Cabalgata de Reyes Magos. I arrived to Santander on 6 January, after a five-hour scenic FEVE train ride. Well, at least the first half of it was scenic; then it was just plain dark.
Even here in Spain, January is the most depressing month of the year. What about rebajas, you may ask. Well. Anywhere else in the country you would expect to see the orgy of winter sales. In Santander, the sales go on but the shops look exactly the same or even less crowded as pre-sales, minus Christmas lights. They really should work harder if they want to sell anything to me. At least the sky is not totally dark when I catch my morning bus. And the music is there to make life more bearable.
I thought the list will be twice as long. But then, things happen. Two shows were, unfortunately, canceled; two concerts I wanted to go I couldn’t, and another couple of gigs I went could well have been skipped.
- 7 January: Sitara Trío @ Rubicón, Calle del Sol 4
- Sergio Mier (guitar), Joansa Maravilla (oud, percussion) and Diego Gutiérrez (percussion): fusion of flamenco, jazz and Middle Eastern music. As an encore, there was an impromptu flamenco jam with a percussionist and a singer from the audience.
- 10 January: Malas Calles @ Restaurante del Centro Gallego de Santander, Calle Peña Herbosa 6.
- 60s and 70s style blues and rock. The Spanish-language songs did not impress me much but several standards, especially Mustang Sally, Johnny B. Goode, Peter Gunn theme and an unnamed harmonica blues got the audience going.
- 11 January: La Noche Americana @ Rubicón
- Every second Sunday at Rubicón: classic American folk, blues and country music featuring Phil Grijuela and Iván Velasco.
- 13 January: Jambalaya @ Canela Bar, Plaza de Cañadio
- 21 January: Pez Mago @ Rubicón
- Pez Mago is a project of singer-songwriter Lucas Álvarez de Toledo, in its strip-down version consisting of Lucas himself (vocals and guitar) and Alexis Balanowsky (accordion).
- 27 January: Ramón Toca @ Canela Bar
- An evening of canción de autor. I liked his songs but wish he did not spent so much time telling old jokes.