Hola! my european vacation...(part 1 High Rockabilly)
Sorry for the lack of posts- I am trying to do less computer time and more real time living!
I and three gal pals have just got back from a dash to Europe- which included going to High Rockabilly in Calafell, Espana!
Much anticipated this trip did not disappoint- Barcelona, London and Paris were the destinations.
First stop, High Rockabilly Festival in Calafell.
What more could you ask for- beach, good weather, pool parties, bands, booze, pals from all over the world and lots of eye candy (should I say more politely- people watching!).
Ok first up I did not seem to take nearly enough pics- I was pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing (in a good way).
I read with interest Olivia's review of High Rockabilly on her blog, the Big Mama's introspection (I am sorry to say I did not get a chance to meet her- maybe next time?). I agreed with a lot of what she had to say. I surprised myself by how little of the bands I saw- I am not sure why but I seemed to get caught up talking or I found myself in the DJ room. I caught at least one band a night and went to almost all of the pool parties.
Ok so what were the highlights?
Ummm- being in Spain- who could ask for a better location?
Paella, paella and more paella
The locals were so friendly and helpful
The pool parties rocked- not so much for the bands although I really enjoyed Carlos and the Bandidos heaps- they put on a good show. The pool parties rocked because you could actually relax, catch up with friends and listen to DJs and have a dance- I can't dislike any opportunity for a stroll. Go the strollers!
Of the bands I would say the highlights for me (of what I saw) were:
The Rip em ups (AWESOME!!!!!!!!!) What can I say this bands plays exactly what I like and how I like it. Next I thought Rockin Bonnie was good, I enjoyed seeing the Flatfoot Shakers (Kieron is a friend but I don't think I am biased), Wild Fire Willie never disappoint me and of course the Dragtones (although I think I am more of a fan of Luis and the Wildfires). Unfortunately I can't remember too much more band wise- I am putting it down to being distracted by cute boys, trying hopelessly to string together more than two words in spanish and mojitos.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the DJ room, and was up for any and every stroller- and I thought overall the DJs were excellent.
The vendor room was only open at night- which added to my sense of distraction- and having to carry your stuff around was not fun- although most vendors were very helpful in putting stuff away for you. I could kick myself now that I didn't buy more stuff. I was disappointed that Remix didn't have much stock- I look forward to seeing what new styles are around that may not be on their website. I got some Freddie of Pinewood jeans (Phil was very helpful), there was a french couple who had some great stock (but somehow I couldn't get it together to shop) and Nick Barnes had some great stuff.
What could the festival do better?
Firstly props to Jose- it is an awesome festival that I look forward to going to again.
I don't think this year was the strongest line up (and was part of the reason I wasn't too fussed on missing some bands- although next time I will make more of an effort).
It was not till almost the last night that we realised there was a bus (or maybe I am just slow of the mark). It made that late night/early morning 5am drag your bones home easier. It would have been great to know about this earlier. The bus drivers were always so friendly and accommodating.
I don't think the band room was the best- more seating would have been good (maybe I am showing my age or that I wasn't drunk enough).
I have to say the bar staff were awesome.
I didn't work it out till the last night that you could buy High Rockabilly t-shirts at the door and by that stage we missed out.
I couldn't work out if the bands were selling merch or not- missed opportunity (or I am just blind!)
On a note on the pre-party- I really didn't like the outdoor venue- it was squishy and I don't much like being pinned against a wheelie bin! The Caezers did not get to shine in this venue- but I am not sure if any band could?
Oh and the police were very cute in navy uniforms, jack boots and berets (drool).
So would I recommend High as a festival- hell yeah!
Finally some quotable quotes...
In line at the international airport where we needed to purchase tickets for the train to Calafell: (we are looking blank, jet lagged and struggling to think of what we needed to say in spanish) -without us needing to say a word the ticket seller says "to Calafell?"
There must have been a procession of rockin' types that day!
From our Spanish friend Lydia (who had one of those laser light beam pointers):
"I have brought this so I can shine it on the ceiling and you can find me. I don't need to find myself"
From a Russian rockabilly dude (Mr RRD) to me:
(Mr RDD)" Are you married?" (me) "Err no" (Mr RRD)"Please consider"
Enough said really!
These pics are from Saturday at the pool party.
Sorry there are no band pics- as I stated I got overwhelmed!
So let me know if you want more details on the festival, more pics, frock talk, band talk, vendor talk etc and I will see what I can dredge up from the recesses of my brain!