3rd day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 18th of october 1996, Garatge
Early in the morning, after two or three hours sleep, the tour continues. Again a really far travel. After the 600 km from the day before, this next trip takes all the strength of the drivers Barney and Duncan. Especially Duncan already gets his limits. In Barcelona everybody is truly exhausted. But still, I’m looking forward, because I know “Zeleste” the club, we’re playing at.
The flyer was introducing the Skasplash to the Zeleste, a nice venue. But when the pre-sale was bad, the promoter changed only a few days before the show the venue.
The Skatalites played Zeleste the year before (1995). I was there as merchandiser meeting Dr. Calypso the opening act. The venue is not running anymore (see wikipedia).
But when we’re arriving in Barcelona, we travel to another club. It doesn’t look fine. And when we enter, it is more a trashy punk club, than for the Skasplash tour. El Garatge is maybe cult in Barcelona, but what we find there, after that long trip is only a few breads, no real backstage, and horrible toilets. The promoter changed the club very short before the show, because he didn’t sell enough pre-sell-tickets. Zeleste is a club for 800 people. Garatge for 600. After the promoter changed from Zeleste to Garatge, he sold 500 tickets in 4 days.
On the upper picture there is Duncan driving the right wheeled british van. Lower left is a little view on the mediterranean sea, the only for a long while.
We spent 10 hours in the bus, so we take whatever we get. Poor Doreen, there are not even lockable doors in the toilets. And for the business – also the big! – you have to stand…
Bill asks in a restaurant, I he could go to the toilet, but he was sent away.
The grotesque scene is complete. But when you think, the old men are complaining, you’re completely wrong. It’s the younger musicians who are complaining about the situation.
Short before the show started, there are still hundreds outside the club, begging to get in. But the club is already overfilled.
In the background there are still dozens of people who didn’t get in, because it was sold out. The vans were kind of backstage, because there was no fresh air in the club and no backstage. This picture was taken, after I had to get outside for a second to breath some fresher air. But it was that difficult to get out and to get back to my DJ stand, it was my only break. That was, while the Skatalites were playing.
This picture is taken from my DJ stand. I was really one of the only people with space to dance. Beside me, there is a member of Dr. Calypso. I remember these guys from Dr. Calypso from last years (1995) show at Zeleste, when they were the warm-up for The Skatalites. I play the original version of The Skatalites’ hit Latin Goes Ska. It’s called Pachito-E Che from 1952 with the Perez Prado Orchestra.
This picture is also taken from my DJ stand. When the band is playing Latin Goes Ska, the whole place is singing Pachito-E Che. I’m very surprised and touched. It’s one of the highlights from the tour.
But at this moment, I don’t like the way, they treat those musicians. This is the pure chaos. Sticky. It takes a whole lot of energy out of all of us. I don’t know how, but everything is working fine. All the show is done well. The whole club is thrilled. Cutty send out his message: “Rudy doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily have to be a gangster.”
Again, the tour plan have to be changed. The club in Paris is closed down by the police. Bordeaux cancelled the show a week before the tour started. Now the plan is improvised. The travel logic is not guaranteed anymore. And that takes a lot of our power and energy.
At 3.30 AM I went completely done into my bed.
Overview Barcelona, Garatge
- audience: 600 sold out
- catering: very bad, not enough
- backstage: not really a backstage
- diner: bad, not enough, no service
- DJ-set: observed by members of Dr. Calypso, tired and with bad mood, great equipment with 4 channel-mixing desk, 2 turn-tables, 2 cd-player, professionally
- Local band: Mount Zion; played too long, too loud, kind of 2-tone-style
- HOR: too many Skinheads in the audience, not open for Reggae, not their day
- Laurel Aitken: Sally Brown mashed the town, everybody is singing together with Mr. Skinhead himself
- Skatalites: Latin Goes Ska and Guns Of Navarone brings the house almost down, everybody is singing, what a great show
- hotel: checked-in after show, very small breakfast
- room mate: Will Clark
- driving the next day, with a lot of side wind, Jeremy is driving from time to time
Come back tomorrow, when we’re arriving Bordeaux.