PIERCING guitar riffs, the clashing of drums and methodical bass lines are becoming as common as the chirp of seagulls in Estepona.
It may be a pretty, tranquil seaside town, with flower pots lining cobbled streets and elaborate water features decorating expansive plazas … but when the sun goes down Estepona is a different beast altogether.
Quiet by day, anything but quiet by night: the resort has a growing reputation for putting on top-quality gigs.
No longer solely reserved for ‘the Port’, a number of live music venues have popped up in the old town too.
As local music expert and Olive Press columnist Gary Beaumont explains, ‘Estepona is booming’.
“The town has become a hotspot for live music on the Costa del Sol,” he says. “Catering for all tastes from flamenco to funk and from hip-hop to heavy metal.”
For much of the past decade the only place for live music was Louie Louie in the bustling port – and it remains the musical hub.
Run by charismatic Ricky Cuesta, Louie Louie is home to the annual Battle of the Bands competition, involving local and expat musicians.
Largely focussing on everything rock ‘n roll, live music is on every Friday and Saturday while Sundays are reserved for more chilled out vibes.
Bands from America, Canada and Australia often include the venue on their European tours.
And on the back of Louie Louie’s success, King Creole has risen in the midst of the old town.
This relatively new bar has latched on to the increasingly popular rock scene, and with a slightly ‘cooler’ edge to it, blues acts often take to the stage too.
Meanwhile, just around the corner Bribones has jumped on the rock scene, with owner Juanmi regularly found headbanging to a Korn soundtrack on any given night of the week.
However, it is a very different vibe come summertime, with the arrival of an outside stage for weekly flamenco performances.
If it is more traditional music you’re after, Duende in the port and El Patio host a number of salsa and bachata nights to get hips moving.
Meanwhile, the Pena Flamenca association puts on regular concerts in the bandstand in Plaza Reloj.
Head a few miles away from the town centre and you’ll the idyllic Sonora Beach, a secluded beach bar that oozes coolness with its cocktails and live music.
There’s no doubt that Estepona’s music scene is booming, and long may it continue!