Tour Diary
(by Rafa Skam)


Chapter III:  YEAR  1999

23-4-99 La Hermandad (MURCIA) (Acoustic)
28-5-99 Brothers´ 6 (La Ribera - MURCIA) (Acoustic)
5-6-99 Black Note (VALENCIA)
13-6-99 FAMI Festival (Alguazas - MURCIA)
9-7-99 Ice-Cream Pop Festival - Magic (BARCELONA)
16-7-99 Festival Area (Era Alta - MURCIA)
13-8-99 ZM-101 (La Manga - MURCIA)
19-8-99 Chiringuito Calimero (Jumilla - MURCIA)
1-10-99 Nave Ctra. Badajoz-Valencia, junto casa Luis León (Ossa de Montiel - ALBACETE)
14-10-99 Euterpe Pop-Rock Festival - Centro Cultural´s Garden (Espinardo - MURCIA)
3-12-99 Gambrinus (Basauri - VIZCAYA)
4-12-99 Golfo Norte (Barrika - VIZCAYA)
5-12-99 Millenium (Bilbao - VIZCAYA)
6-12-99 Rastatoo (Aranda de Duero - BURGOS)
7-12-99 Woodstock (VALENCIA)

23-4-99   La Hermandad (MURCIA) (Acústico)

    At last we come back to the stage. We hadn´t played for 4 months. I have been playing with Vacaciones all this time. We felt fresh, and we were even playing in the heart of Murcia. The place was crowded and the sound was really fine! We even played 2 songs in spanish that we had recently recorded, and people liked them! Second (the band), my friend Felipe, Ana and Ángel from Vacaciones came to here us, and even some Nacho Abadía´s internet´s friends.

28-5-99   Brothers 6 (La Ribera - MURCIA) (Acústico)
    This was the second time we played at Brothers´ 6. This time in a programming with other bands like The Umbrella Hating Generation, The Satellites and Elephant Band, but not playing the same day. And well, it´s said that second parts never were good, isn´t it? The audience were a bit static, although we tried to cheer them up: exams? I don´t know, but there were very few people, so we played our set and finished. I wanted to come back soon, as I should attend a course next saturday and sunday. Then we played some bises only because we wanted, and when I was bound to go, two brothers went up onto the stage, took the guitars and started playing some blues and rock´n´roll classics, and then it turned into a jam session, adding Jesús, Brothers´6´ owner, and the rest of Yellow Melodies, except me, as I´m living in a very pop cloud now, I didn´t fancy to develop some pentatonic scales at Eric Clapton´s style, so I went out to the door, and I awaited out until the end of the neverending guitar solos. But we were happy, why not? We were told we were the first band in playing twice at Brothers´ 6.


5-6-99   Black Note (VALENCIA), with Los Sostenidos
    It was the first time that we played in Valencia, and it was in a party organized by Tranquilo... Niebla discos, with two bands: Los Sostenidos and us. We would come back to Murcia next day as some charming friends of mine invited us to sleep at their house. The venue was large and we felt fine on the stage. The gig was even recorded on a CD, and the sound was not bad. We played first, and the venue was crowded of people and some friends: Natalia, a friend of mine, came with us in the car from Murcia, and over there I could see some Polar members, our friends Marisa, Maite, Ruth and Rocío; and other friends from the "spanishpop" mail list, that I even met there for the first time, as: Verónica and Mª del Mar, Juan Carlos and Ana Toxicosmos, and Israel "nobody like him", who held his birthday that day and invited us to the party after the show who was held in a pub called Gurú. We played some new songs for the first time, songs even neither lyrics nor a title. It was great, although we played only for 25 min., and we felt like playing for a long time as we didn´t play for some months. Well, we have had some more gigs, but they were acoustic sets. After us, Los Sostenidos made a great gig and had a lot of people who knew their songs. After that, we went to Gurú, where Israel´s birthday was held, and he was even the DJ, so we could listen to some very good music. There I also met another kid from the "spanishpop" mail list, Javier Ruano. There was a birthday cake, and it tasted nice. Ruth ate even 3 pieces of cake. After that, we went to Barraca Bar, which was the last one we stayed at, and the music was not bad at all. When we went back to the house, we were looking at some pictures that Marisa and Maite had takes with some famous artists like: Norman Blake, Tim Burgess, etc... whilst we followed the tracks of the flashes of the ball they had on the ceiling of the room. We spend a nice weekend. Marisa and Maite looked after us fine! we want to go back again to Valencia! and so did Javi Sostenido, who thought of us to play with them that night.


13-6-99   FAMI Festival (Alguazas - MURCIA), with Cecilia Ann, Swan Dive and Screw Coco
    This festival was organized by our friend and sound engineer Javier Desiderio. We felt like playing again with a band that we love: Cecilia Ann, who really made a great gig, with the new band. The organization of the festival was good, despite we had to wait for more than our to taste the "catering", which was at least very good.
    Swan Dive played first. They are from Murcia, and their singer is a girl. After them, we played, and we spent a good time playing as the sound was good, but the stage was very large for us, and we would have preferred to play closer. After that Cecilia Ann mixed some old material with new one. It was great when we saw Cecilia Ann among the audience during our gig. Laura Mora, a friend of us told us she liked a lot our new songs. After the gig, I made my first interview to Cecilia Ann for the e-zine "El Planeta Amarillo"


9-7-99   Ice-Cream Pop Festival - Magic (BARCELONA), with Flirt, Vacaciones and Les Tres Bien Ensemble
    We felt like playing in Barcelona a lot, and our friend Xavier Guillaumes, at last, could organize a festival for us, and with a nice chart, and that was even the first time in which I played with my two bands in the same festival: Vacaciones and Yellow Melodies, who even travelled in the same van. I felt like listening to Flirt live, my favourite new band, and also Les Tres Bien Ensemble, the third band of my friend Felipe Fresón, and I think my favourite one of the three bands. And even some really good friends came from Valencia and Castellón: Marisa, Maite, Laura Plá, Mª del Mar and Verónica. The audience was really fine. There were some other good friends, like: some Selenitas, TCR, Fresones, Soberanos, Xavi Loopside, Jordi Palop, Guille Milkyway La Casa Azul, Abraham Skywalker, etc... The worst thing was the sound. Only noisy bands can sound good there. And Ángel, from Vacaciones, told us we made a great gig, and even Felipe Fresón thought the same, at least, he liked our music.
    Flirt opened the show, and I loved their gig. They made a cover version of Black, but they changed the title for "We´re a wonderful band" instead of  Wonderful Life. We played after them, and when we finished I didn´t went down the stage, because I also played with Vacaciones, which made a strange but very funny concert, with some changes in the band, as José Alberto couldn´t come finally to the festival. Then Ángel played the drums. And in the last songs, Felipe Fresón played the bass, and even in Poppy Girl, Lucas, from Flirt, also played the guitar so that turned into an unforgettable party. Les Tres Bien Ensemble had some wonderful songs that I could enjoy a lot. We had the van outside, and when all finished, we went there to drink some whisky that we had brought from Murcia. But there were no ice-cubes. That was not a problem for Ángel and me, so we drank the whisky with no ice-cubes, and it didn´t matter, whilst talking to friends in the street. It was such an unforgettable weekend that Ángel and me didn´t want to leave, so we slept only for 15 minutes. And it all happened because of Xavi Miracles, who organizes theis kind of parties from time to time, and all would be better to spanish music if there would be a Xavi in every city.


16-7-99   Festival Area (Era Alta - MURCIA), with The Sueters, Especie Protegida and Evolución 0

    This gig was organized by J Producciones, of José Blesa Corleone, as they always call us for only one gig every year. This was just the contrary of Barcelona. There were no interesting people like magazine critics, journalists or other like those, so we felt more comfortable on the stage, and so we did, because the sound was good. But the first thought I had was to start as soon as possible and end it the same way, as were in the studio recording new songs, so I had to rest, because the week had been hard. The audience: all the old men from Era Alta sat on their chairs listening to a band which played odd music that they could understand because it was sung in another language. It was one more concert.


13-8-99   ZM-101 (La Manga - MURCIA), with SPop, Flan and Second
    This was an improvised gig in a festival that they were not going to play at first, but we did it in the end, as Cosmic couldn´t play at last. We had just come from Benicassim Festival, where I had been playing with my other band Vacaciones. We had been playing here before, two years ago, and we played 4 timesthat Summer. The place is really wonderful, just on the seashore. The worst thing was that we played very late (or early in the morning): 5:30 am, and ended our show at 6:10 am. because we were the last band in playing. We played almost all our set but we couldn´t finish it as Nacho had sprained his wrist, and couldn´t keep on playing the guitar. The sound was really bad, as I could not hear my own voice, but it was really great to see that some friends of us were still there stood waiting for our gig, so it cheered up a lot and gave the best we could. Outside there was another stage, where a ska band from Barcelona were playing. It was funny, because it looked like a little festival with two stages and bands of different styles playing on each one. The bands were good at the pop stage, but the sound was really terrible. SPop are a band from Murcia, previously named Popstal. After them, Flan, a band from Albacete, delighted us with their pure noise-pop, and they even played a cover of Placebo. Second would play next. And finally, we played at last. Our friends stood still until the end: Atilano had come from Albacete; Veronica, from Valencia, Ángel helped us with the sound, and there were also some friends from Playa Honda, like Lolo, Yasmina and Virginia. When we ended our gig the sun was rising on the horizon.


19-7-99   Chiringuito Calimero (Jumilla - MURCIA)
    Another almost improvised gig, because we noticed the same week, and as it was Jumilla´s festivities, they called u again, like the last year, when we were playing at Jumiyeah´s Festival. The people there love our music, and they´re charming, but a bit dangerous, as they have no limits. There had been a hard rainfall, and the gig was bound to fail, but we finally played, though it would be again too late: we played at 3:30 am, and made some bises too. We had a lot of sound problems, as the sound engineers were not "engineers", they were terribly useless. The venue was crowded of people and there were not many watios, so we spent all the show listening to the music from the venues around, and sometimes it was very difficult to follow the rhythm. We made some bises later but I had drunk too much (I´d better say "all of us had drunk so much") and began to talk to the microphone, and say nonsense, but it was the same, because we were having a very good time and we didn´t mind. We even finished our gig with Sunday Morning Sun, which we only play a few times, and this is our more experimental song, and it lats more than 10 minutes on the stage. I had to go to Madrid the next day to play with Vacaciones, and when I got home I tried to sleep, but in 5 minutes I had to leave to Madrid.


1-10-99   Nave Ctra. Badajoz-Valencia, junto casa Luis León (Ossa de Montiel - ALBACETE), with Pernada
    210 Km. are from Murcia to Ossa de Montiel, a small town at Ruidera Lakes, then the countryside was beautiful. 3000 inhabitants and 30 bars. Great!. But the last gig had been held 10 years ago. We played first. There were too many people but they would be leaving at once, as people there don´t love music. They attended the place only for expectation, but now I can understand 10 years without a gig, and they would deserve other 10 years. The voices disappeared in one song, and the sound engineer didn´t notice. He was sleeping on the sound mixer. We woke him up, he changed the microphones and we could go on. I thought about the reasons for why people would be leaving the place, and I thought they would like heavy music, so they didn´t like our songs. But it wasn´t that, as the rest of the people who had stayed there when we finished our show would leave during the gig of the next heavy band. I was the first one who would leave. I went to my car, and I listened to Acid House Kings and Cane 141. Later, we went to the only pub still open at the small town, and the only interesting thing there was playing a game after another in a Trivial Pursuit´s machine, all questions about music, but about bands such as Queen, Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen,... I was expecting some about Black Box Recorder or Bis, but I wouldn´t mind because we laughed a lot. When the pub closed, we went to a school to sleep. And the next day, we came back to Murcia, as I had to go at once to Santa Pola, to play with my other band, Vacaciones, in a party with The Frank & Walters.


14-10-99   Pop-Rock Euterpe Pop-Rock Festival - Centro Cultural´s Garden (Espinardo - MURCIA), with Second, Vacaciones (an acoustic set at the bar), Swan Dive, Pop Eyes, Caronthe and Ruina
    This was a festival organized by the Euterpe Youth Association, in which I´ve been the President for years, but just until this Festival. In this association the bands can have a free rehearsal room. But the bad point was that I shoul organize, call the bands, look for a sound engineer, introuce the bands, stick the posters,... even play with my two bands. But Pepe, from the Centro Cultural helped me and made the most of the work. We spent two weeks getting it ready, and when the day came, it rained. The festival was bound to postpone, but at last it was finally held. I made the tickets for drinks and I kept some so I spent all night going in and out of the bar. Firstly, two heavy bands played, and after them, the stage turned into a POP stage. I also had to take photos to the bands, but that´s not a surprise. There were around 200 people. Ángel Sopena, Manolo Marín, from Murcia Joven, and Lidia, from Hello Cuca, came to the the festival, but they left soon, as that same night there was another pop gig in Murcia, La Habitación Roja,... Well, the first pop band were Pop Eyes, a young band of 5 girls and a boy, with a new drummer. They also had a new member, this is, Laura More, voice and guitar. And from the stage they called Sandra, an old member fo the band, who still remembered the songs, and she may join the band again. They only played four songs, as they said the sound was terribly bad, but down the stage the sound was not bad. After them, Swan Dive played and it was such a shameless introducing them and introducing the rest of the bands that I did... The introductions were brief, but terrible. I promise I won´t do it again. I didn´t know what to say when I went onto the stage. Swan Dive sounded fine and I liked them, and after them Second made their gig, and I liked them too. Between these two bands, Vacaciones made an acoustic and improvied set of two songs at the bar, for the people there were there at that moment, because Vacaciones also play in the rehearsal room of the association, but we couldn´t play all that day, so the Ana, Ruth and I could finally have a short but nice set at the bar, although our name wouldn´t appear on the posters. And while Second were playing, a neighbour called the police to cut off the sound, so we were told to play only one song, and we have to stop Second´s gig, just to be able to play one song. And we did it. We went up onto the stage quickly, and we played two only songs, that we dedicated to the "kind" neighbour who called the police. We started with the song we had prepared to make a bis, this is, "Sunday Morning Sun", and we extended it more than 10 minutes. I sat down on the floor, and began to play with the guitar. I really liked the sound up on the stage and I felt ver comfortable. After it, we played the second longest song we have, this is, "She´s Really A Star". I got a cold that night, but I went to our new rehearsal room with Laura More to leave the amps and the guitar, to show her hundreds of pictures, and to relax keeping listening to her songs with only Nacho´s acoustic guitar and her beautiful voice.


3-12-99   Gambrinus (Basauri - VIZCAYA)

    I was very hungry of gigs again, so I organized a 5-days´ tour. Our record was 4 concerts with no rest. And again on the north of Spain. This first gig was organized by Miguel Ángel Oliva "papa basauri", who had decided to programm concerts of the bands he knows and likes in the venue of his friend Iñaki, the gambrinus coffee-theatre. As I had began to work in Madrid, on Elefant Records, since the first of December, then Ismael, Nacho and Raúl prepared everything (mainly the food) and stopped at the Elefant office so that I join them and follow our way to the north of Spain. We arrived Basauri in the evening. There was Iñaki waiting for us. At once, Miguel Ángel came to the venue, but he only could stay the four first songs, as he had to go home, because his little baby was waiting for him. Iñaki would be our sound engineer. We had to begin immediately, and we had to play Los Secretos´"No Me Imagino"  the third song, as we wanted to dedicate it to our friend  "papá basauri". We would play this cover all along the tour, so we wanted to make a tribute to Enrique Urquijo, who had left us some weeks before. The people were sitting on their chairs, looking strangely at us. They wouldn´t dance. But at the end of the concert, we sold a CD to the people sitting on the right that had enjoyed our show. Iñaki invited us to some nice sandwiches of pork loin with pepper, that we took for dinner acompanied by some beers. Iñaki and his girlfriend enjoyed very much our gig, and it was enough for us. They were very nice people. We felt as we were at home. We had some drinks later and saved our backline in very tiny room inside the bar and went to sleep. The hotel was nice and we didn´t expect it, with television and very comfortable beds in large rooms.


4-12-99   Golfo Norte (Barrika - VIZCAYA)

    In the morning we went to Bilbao to see the exhibitions at the Guggenheim. Raúl wanted to see the motorbikes´ story. I also saw it, but I felt like watching the Andy Warhol´s show, and I felt astonished, so much that I would come back the day after. We spent the whole day there, and in the evening, we went to Basauri to take the backline, and went to Barrika, which was in the north coast, upper than Getxo. It was raining and that evening there was an interesting football match in Bilbao. We spent some time looking for the venue. The town was very small and Golfo Norte was not in the town. It was just on the road to Plenzia, so it was a bit dificult for us to find it, but in the end we got it. The little bar was beautiful. It was a small wooden hut lost in the mountains and there were very few people. The night was cold and rainy. We took some sandwiches of ham to dinner, and then we started playing. We played the same set of the night before, but changing the order of the songs. The few people there were also very still, like the night before. Nobody would dance, nor move. I think that it´s because people don´t know our songs, but they liked them in the end, even they bought us some records. Iñaki, his girlfriend and his friends, came again from Basauri to see us, but they had to go soon. We stayed until very late at night. The waitress was so kind, and there was also a big dog, almost bigger than us... it was a surrealistic night I think... then we went to sleep. The hotel was small but comfortable. It was a bit far, in another town. The next morning we enjoyed the landscape, that was very beautiful.


5-12-99   Millenium (Bilbao - VIZCAYA), with Urigellers
    This third day of the tour we would play in Bilbao, with a young band from there, that we knew through the Disorder mail-list. We went to their rehearsal room in the afternoon, that would be the same place where we would spend the night, and very close to the venue where we would play that night, in Deusto. Firstly we went to a burger to have something to eat, and then, while they went to have a rest at the rehearsal room, I went again to the Andy Warhol´s exhibition. This gig had been organized by Urigellers: Gorka and Joseba (the ones in the mail-list), Nerea, the "abuelo", and the bass player, that would leave the band some weeks later. They were very kind to us. The venue was crowded of people, despite the same night Super Furry Animals were playing near the venue. They played first.  They sound very "noise". Apart from their own songs, they also make covers of their favourite bands: La Habitación Roja, Ocean Colour Scene, Los Planetas, and so on... We played next and we did the same set list than the previous night, although we felt better than the previous gigs, as the people were not as still as the other days. So we even played "Sunday Morning Sun", but we couldn´t play "The Secret Garden", as Ismael was exhausted. We also sold some records. We remained there drinking some beers until the bar closed. The day after we had to play in Jumilla, that was very far from there, but we finally could change the date and would play in Aranda instead. Then we took the backline to the rehearsal room, we had something to eat, and slept until the morning after.


6-12-99   Rastatoo (Aranda de Duero - BURGOS), with Urigellers
    This night we would play again with Urigellers. They are very good people, and made us feel nice during both days. In the morning we took the van to Aranda de Duero. We arrived there in the afternoon, took some beers and went to the restaurant where we would have dinner. The people in the town were very friendly. The party was orginazed by the Rastatoo people, specially another nice guy from the "Disorder" mail list, called Javi Hotel Julia, as he signs in the mail list, and it´s just the place where he works, an real hotel where we would spend the night. After dinner, we went to the rooms to have a rest. The cenue was a small place that reminded us to the "Calimero", not only by the place, but also by the people there. But they´re really good people. Before the gig, we and 40 people else from the Rastatoo had supper: a typical roasted lamb, accompanied with some special wine. We nearly felt better than at home. Urigellers played first and did it better than the night before. Even Nacho went up onto the stage to sing the backing vocals in the Ocean Colour Scene cover. The stage was also very small, and the venue was crowded of people. The people were singing and dancing all over the concerts. They didn´t stopped drinking beer all along the night. The weather outside was very cold, but the people were very funny inside. We were enjoying on the stage an played all our songs, because it reminded us to our best times at Jumilla´s Calimero. We remained until 6 am in the morning, until the bar closed. It was very cold outside, then as all the bars were closed, we went to the hotel and had some food. We were very tired.


7-12-99   Woodstock (VALENCIA), with Pequeño Animal and Impromptu

    It was still a long way to Valencia, so we took the van at midday and went to the south. There Marisa, Maite and Javi Woodstock were waiting for us. Maite and Marisa had organized the gig. They´re so nice! And we played with other two local bands: Impromptu played firstly. After them, Pequeño Animal. We did our best when we played despite it was our fifth concert in five days. 101 people finally paid for the show. We didn´t expect it! There were all our friends: Veronique, Maria del Mar, Joaquín Ezcurra, Israel, Juan Carlos and Ana Toxicosmos, Luis Nácher, and so on... We even sold some records, and people danced and enjoyed our show. We felt very exhausted. Marisa and Maite drove us to their home and we fell asleep while watching a Pulp concert on video. The final balance was positive if we consider that we earned some money, but it was very negative if we consider that Raúl, the bass player, would leave the band the day after the tour end, totally exhausted. I felt very down during some days, because there had been three beautiful and funny years altogether, and now we had to look for a difficult substitute to play the bass... and go on dreaming...