3 hour train ride back to Lisbon from Porto - the thing is really rattling along, tinted windows, clackety-clack, but quiet and proper good train ride this is turning out to be. I do feel like a little more time here would have been ideal, but I’m looking forward to being back in Berlin with the kids. The carriage has a window at the back so I can stand there and watch the tracks curl away.
So, the second night at Vila Real, after a stressful day, turned out to be a lovely concert. Plenty of people, great sound, sitting down taking my time with the stuff. I played on the stage in the bar of a massive theatre complex with a couple of great rooms to play in - the folks there were welcoming and super friendly. Hope to be back.
(photos by Paulo)
If you’d like to hear this show you can download a recording of the complete concert - 13 songs, more than enough - from this link:
So after the show I got a brilliant tour of the whole place. We climbed to the very top - to the grid directly above the stage and stood on the metal frame high above the floor. Ropes and pulleys and winches for curtains and sets - vertigo from it. I am an expert at shitting myself at heights so was fun enough.
(photos by Paulo)
After all this I drove round the Vila Real street circuit a couple of times just to keep my hand in and the lap record up to speed. More than good enough, here you are:
We got home late and I slept heavy, full and a little later than I had wanted. Outside my window a woman was arguing with her husband in the field and I could hear the birds and smell the place so I wanted a little walk. Paulo showed me around the village - wandering and greeting folks, plenty of dogs.
Half an hour later and time for the taxi back to Vila Real and a bus a little way back down south to Porto. I had good company for the travel and a guide to Porto from Justyna, a lady from Poland who had been at the concert the night before and was in the spontaneous manner. We ate omelettes in the hot sun as soon as we arrived and then wandered round to the main square to watch Portugal draw level with Brazil. Thousands of locals seemed satisfied with this.
The town was very beautiful to me this afternoon, great shape to the streets and busy enough. Later we walked up the hill to Armazém Do Chá, a rockabilly bar open late. I was to be playing at 1am, supporting The Dixie Boys - I had no doubt this was going to be fun, if not the perfect setup for one of my concerts. I don’t mind the 1am start, and rockabilly is always brilliant for an hour or so - but a strange choice of support for them I think. Bet they thought so too. Anyway, the hotel was 20 metres from the front door so sure enough I played and it was noisy and fun, and then I danced for an hour, drank till 5 and we both crashed in the hotel for 4 hours.
Next morning train ride after great little breakfast in the most beautiful station, thick hot air in the countryside, Lisbon again and a drag of a flight back to Berlin. Early evening S-Bahn chaos, currywurst and pommes on the seat next to me, home of sorts. That’s all.
Thank you to Alexandra and Paulo and everyone else on this little trip. Hope to see you again later in the year perhaps.
Anyone in Hamburg want to give me a small concert this Sunday? House gig? Cafe? Garden? Fancy a visit you see and might as well mention it now.