Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Rockwave 20 Part 3 - Manu Chao La Ventura

Manu Chao is one of those artists that regurarly plays in Greece. As usual,  I had never been to one of his gigs despite the numerous chances I'd been given. So, while still recovering from my trip to Italy for Belle And Sebastian, I decided that this time I was not going to miss him. And so it was that on what was probably one of the hottest days of the summer in Athens, I went to a Rockwave Festival date for a third time in the same year! (There was a fourth date with Judas Priest and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club but I was busy getting ready for Italy then).
So, back to Terra Vibe and since it was Manu Chao who was headlining, one could be sure of two things:
1. The ticket would be (relatively) cheap. In fact Manu Chao himself insists that ticket prices to his gigs are low.
2. The line-up would be geared towards ethnic sounds. In fact the sounds on that night ranged from the Balkans all the way to Jamaica!
I arrived early in order to avoid the big crowds that usually gather at Manu Chao Greek gigs. Too tired from last week's trip I would have to find a place to sit down. And I did, in the area which in other concerts is designated as "VIP", where not only did I get to sit on a bench, but I also had a table, where I could leave my drinks and stuff. Plus, and most important of all, I had shade! Of course there are no VIP tickets at a Manu Chao show, so this particular area was open to everyone, all for the price of the regular ticket!

The first appearance of the day was not a live act but a DJ set. DJ Spery, according to the Rockwave Festival official site, has been, for the last 5 years, organizing parties aiming to bring the "Balkanization Project" to life. This entails spreading the Balkan sounds from town to town. She discovered how lively this music is at a Goran Bregovic gig and she's been collecting records from the best Balkan bands ever since.

Next up, were Les SkartOi, which, if you look closely at their name was the band with the Jamaican sounds of the day. So, Ska it is then, and they even treated us to a medley of classic ska songs like "Rat Race" made famous by the Specials and "Night Boat To Cairo" made famous by Madness.

Fundracar who came up next bring us home to more traditional and Greek sounds but also hip-hop.
With Baildsa, second on the bill, it's back to Balkan sounds and this band have actually played live in most Balkan countries.
And finally, it's time for Manu Chao. He played all his well-known songs, in radically altered versions as usual, sometimes more than once. There was a 12 minute version of "La Primavera" thrown in the mix, plus, more importantly, from his Mano Negra days, "King Kong Five", the song with which I got to know him, way back in 1989.

There was not just one, but two encores, finally ending with "Mala Vida", a song we got to hear on another encore, last Christmas, courtesy of Nouvelle Vague.
And so ended my last visit to Terra Vibe this year, and my last gig of the summer. Now it was time to really rest and enjoy the rest of the summer holiday, ending up in Antiparos as usual...

01. Mr Bobby
02. Se fuerza la máquina / Día luna... día pena / Tadibobeira
03. La vida tómbola
04. La primavera
05. Les rues de l'hiver...
06. Clandestino
07. Promiscuity
08. Mi vida
09. King Kong Five
10. Politik Kills
11. Machine Gun
12. Bienvenida a Tijuana
13. El viento
14. Fuera Monsanto (Perro Verde)
15. Minha galera
Encore 2:
16. Desaparecido / Lagrimas de oro
17. Clandestino / Rumba de Barcelona / La despedida / Mentira
18. Mala vida

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