September 23, 24, 25 and 26th of 1999

    Oh, yes. Although this has been the third "Purple Weekend", it was just the first one to me, and it was really worth.

    If you want to go to the Purple Festival, you don´t have to stay all day thinking of going. You only have to say: "I go", and it´s so easy, because if you start thinking... "León is very far...", "It´s a lot of money...", "The University begins now..."

    So three friends of mine decided to go there (Benigno, Rafa Llarena, Ángel Pop and me), so we took the train on Saturday morning and arrived León the same day in the evening...

    But don´t think the Festival began on Saturday... ¡no, no! The festival began on Thursday with Los Imposibles, and on Friday was the really first day of the festival, and the head band would be Chesterfield Kings, and they provoked a division of opinions: "Too heavies"; "Too good"; "You only need to close your eyes and listen"; ...

    On Saturday morning there would be four shown in the stage, like "Selenitas" (but we missed them)...

    "Well. We´re in León. Now we have to go to the concerts". And how great was the beginning of the festival for me! It would be the best of the whole weekend.

    The End surprised all of us: a line of seven great musicians, and a section of saxes included too, and the elder they were the more energy the had... They played a lot of 60s covers, finishing with  Los Bravos´ "Black is Black", painting a picture that they would later destroy with a guitar, and the same guitar would end like the picture, more or less... ¡A great gig!

    After a short rest, The Bluetones came up onto the stage and they would play another great set, playing songs from the first and second albums: "Bluetonic", "Slight Return", "If",... and seven new songs from their forthcoming third album. I liked them a lot, above all after having seen them in Benicassim Festival two years ago, but a lot of mods and sixties who were there wouldn´t understand what did Brit-pop do there, so they couldn´t success.

    After them, we went to the "Allnighter" at Tropicana, where we were dancing all night long. The music was nice, and the mods and sixties danced very well.

    On Sunday I decided to buy some records in the same place where the gigs were held, but in that just moment,  the Blackbirds would play so fine that I could´t concentrate on looking for interesting records. The organ player was really impressive. When we came back from dinner, The Shambles would play, and although at first the bassist would play badly, at the end we all enjoyed with their songs and their covers: The Kinks´ "I Need You"; Ramones´ "She´s A Punk Rocker"; Small Faces´ "Runaway";... and they even played a Brincos´ cover, but I can´t remember which.
    At night, Doctor Explosion would make us dance with their show and I have to recognize that I love their shows, I can´t explain, it doesn´t mind ´though they don´t play "La Chatunga"...

    And in the end the head band today: Los Salvajes, and I have to confess that I was looking forward to seeing them as I have always liked them, but... I don´t know if I must say that... well... yes: they don´t play rhythm and blues like in the 60s; the guitar player doesn´t look for the music emotions, but the technique, the skill, the heavy virtuosity, and I didn´t like that thing. I don´t mind if the singer is fat as a cow; I don´t even mind if the bassist shows his tongue more than Kiss singer, but the new guitar player is more than enough. They played a set of their 60s hits: "Corre, Corre", "Soy Así", "La Neurastenia", "Es La Edad",... although some of us missed some songs like "Al Capone", "Paff Pum" and "Pienso En Ti". The singer´s son also plays guitar with them (¿?), and the drummer is very good (yes, yes, the same as in the 60s). The best moment was just went Alejandro, from Los Flechazos, went up onto the stage to sing "Que Alguien Me Ayude" with Los Salvajes. Later, we went to Allnighter again, this time at Coliseum, and dancing and dancing, and without noticing, Purple Weekend ended.

    Don´t think that Purple Weekend is only music, as in the "Albertar" you can see exposures of photographs of the 60s, photographs of León in the 60s, and some films of the 60s cultura: the beat, The Beatles, bands of the 60s,...

    It´s nice to go to a Festival like this, where there aren´t too many people yet: you can make a lot of friends and the people who attend the festival know a lot about music.

© José Esteban
© Pictured by Benigno Sánchez and Ángel Pop