MUSIC has always been an important part of my life. When I’m not talking about it on my radio shows, I’m usually reading about it, writing about it, talking about it or playing it.
Playing it badly, I must add. I fancied myself as the Costa del Sol’s answer to Sting in the mid-’80s and belted out a bad acoustic version of Roxanne whenever I got the chance.
I’ve also worked in live music, doing everything from being a runner for Sugarbabes, driver for the reggae band Third World and sorting out the VIPs for Simply Red. From hard-earned experience I’ve come to the conclusion that the music business runs on chaos theory and crisis management at all times.
I’ve also been lucky enough to see some brilliant bands over the years in Spain: Kid Creole and the Coconuts (a tropical blast from my mid-’80s past), Nile Rodgers, Deep Purple (everyone’s ears were ringing with Smoke on the Water for days afterwards) and, two summers ago, I sat transfixed while Paco de Lucia gave what was to be one of his last performances under a beautiful Marbella moon.
All of this means that I’m pretty much of a regular feature at any concert on the coast, normally lurking near the refreshments area. This year, however, turned into ‘The Summer I Saw No Live Music’.
It started with the ill-fated Malaga Rocks Mijas which tried to style itself ‘Glastonbury in the Sun’, overlooking the ‘minor issue’ of actually getting the right permissions from the Town Hall. (Note to all future promotors: just because the Town Hall approve the logo on your poster doesn’t mean they are going to let you hold the damn thing). The organisers tried a last-minute relocation to distinctly un-Rock ‘n ‘Roll Manilva, before the event fizzled out completely. (Another note to promoters: Facebook is not an acceptable media to let performing acts know the event is off. Especially if they are waiting for their lift at the arrivals lounge in Malaga at the time!)
It didn’t help that Spandau Ballet cancelled their gig in Marbella (as well as Barcelona and Ibiza) due to their drummer being taken ill. I had my ’80s shoulder pads and Bowie bags dusted down and ready to go.
I then spent a few weeks sending emails that were pinballed around various PR people at Starlite in the vain attempt to get press accreditation for a few of the concerts. Needless to say, I didn’t receive one pass so it was more than a little galling to see other media professionals taking selfies in front of the performing artists.
My last and best bet was the Gibraltar Music Festival. I had the correct passes and everything was looking sweet when the brake discs on the 4×4 decided to give up the ghost on the Friday afternoon before the festival.
The Yummy Mummy came to my rescue with her offer of a lift. But my visions of swanning around backstage flashing my Access All Areas pass and hanging out with the Kings of Leon were dashed in full Rock chick style when she called in sick on the morning of the concert.
Gutted to see the glut of photos from the gig posted on social media, there was only one thing for it. I dug out my favourite skull T-shirt, composed a heavy metal playlist on the iPod, stuck my biggest headphones on and rocked out on my terrace that evening.
I’m thinking of making it an annual event and calling it ‘Lakestock’.
You’re always welcome at our gigs. 2016 will be a good one! xx Elaine Giles
Driver for Third World, are you that old?
I doubt you were a driver for them in their heyday – late 1970s. the best sound I ever heard at a live gig by a huge margin was – Third World in Brighton in 1977. ubelieveable, the sound engineer was a zen master.
Kid Creole – the 70s’ – at their best. It’s not your fault you were’nt old enough to see these bands at their best but damn your eyes for seeing Paco live, that must have been something – rock-on.