Friday, March 20, 2009

Ibiza Fiestas: Bona Nit Sant Josep

Continuing our look at Ibiza's fiestas we investigate if a man with a hangover and massive memory loss can write a small review of what happened in San Jose the previous day.

The Peps and Pepas of the village really know how to make the most of a public holiday. Let's face it with only ONE a year, apart from San Jorge and San Agustin, (and of course, New Year's Day, Epiphany, Balearic Day, Easter, May Day, Assumption Day, National Day, All Saints' Day, Constitution Day, Immaculate Conception Day AND Christmas) you have to make do with what little you have!

It's pretty easy to tell that things are afoot in the village by the way that the multi-storey car park is packed to the rafters with around 500 tractors and vintage Renault 4s – it's normally a surface parking with room for 20 (if drivers can manage to squeeze between the white lines)

Another clue that something's afoot is the mushroom cloud of steam and smoke over the main street from the ranks of deep fat fryers and hotplates where cholesterol packed snacks like churros, chips, crepes and pork products a-plenty are prepared to give us all a day off from our healthy Mediterranean diet.

The final clue that the most interesting thing to happen all year in the village is in full swing are the gangs of street urchins igniting fire crackers outside your animal packed house and moody teenagers huddled round a bottle of vodka and a bag of ice in a dark alley.

So, what happened? Well, it's not often in Ibiza that we get the chance to see a live concert by a band that has performed live in front of a TV audience of hundreds of millions but last night we did. Los Manolos, yes THE Los Manolos, Catalan rumba band who played at the closing ceremony of the Barcelona Olympic Games in 92 were in town. Luckily for us, so was their equipment, so no repeat of last year when thanks to Iberia the band arrived sans guitars.

From the second bar (I'd been in four by that time) Los Manolos has us eating out of their hand. An infectious brand of Latin infused pop that everyone could sing along to (thank goodness Catalan finally came in useful for something) was just perfect for shaking and shimmying across the church square. I managed to get backstage and asked if they could play something Spotlight Blog viewers could understand so they came up with this one


A couple of beers and four fingers of Ballantine's later The Blues Mafia, all sunglasses, fedoras and violin cases entertained us with a trip to the future – the 1940's – when jumpin' jivin' and jitterbuggin' will be all the rage! These guys must surely be the hardest working band in Ibiza – they play at every town and village fiesta on the island – you'd almost think they got gigs using their 'family' connections in a Mayor in bed with a mare's head stylee.

Thanks to 'steady-cam' technology, here's a video of the Blues Mafia

I don't know what time i went home, but I do remember thinking how good the aroma of frying chips now was. Roll on March 19th 2010 – it's a Friday so we don't have to get up the next day.

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