On a hectic tour like this it’s a real treat to wake up in the city you’re playing in that evening, with a lovely late afternoon lobby call of 4.30 and the possibility of adventure lying ahead. Of course, having rolled in at 3am after my She Makes War show the night before (separate blog post to follow) I wasn’t quite up to my usual crack-of-dawn sightseeing start point, but after a hearty hotel breakfast I set off at around 11.30 to San Telmo, a lovely neighbourhood full of vibrant street art, quirky antiques shops and a mercado packed with weird and wonderful objects (more here).
Having been regaled with more ever-so-slightly-hysterical scare stories about 12 year old crack addicts knifing people to steal their bags I did my usual thing of keeping my wits about me, holding on to my bag and trying not to flash my camera too much but once again I didn’t have any negative reactions from local people, and became far more concerned about dying in a road traffic accident. I eventually got the hang of how best to cross the massive, busy roads without a green man for assistance and made my way from the quiet, colourful streets of San Telmo to Plaza de Mayo to see the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo movement‘s banners and paintings of white shawls on the pavement, a protest to raise awareness of their fight to be reunited with children kidnapped (or “disappeared”) by government agents during the “Dirty War” between 1976 and 1983. It was a sombre experience.
Just before that I recorded a short Audioboo to capture a bit of the bustling atmosphere at the top of Bolivar and to collect sounds for the new album:
From Plaza de Mayo to Plaza de la República to see the obelisk, spied from Avenue Corrientes and not that interesting up close. I regretted the walk as soon as I got there because it just reminded me of Piccadilly Circus, which I loathe, but I hear in 2005 it was dressed up in a giant pink condom for World Aids day, which is pretty cool.
I finished my loop of San Nicolas and Monserrat with a sunny wander along the Puerto Madero back to the hotel past lots of shiny restaurants and the odd massive battleship:
I’ve been missing my dog a lot this past few days so got my animal fix via these guys, though it would have been foolish to try to cuddle any of them:
So, a really interesting day of adventures topped off with a show at Groove in Palermo, featuring perhaps the most lively crowd yet – I spotted a good amount of pogo-ing out in the room – and the coolest rock ‘n’ roll moment of the tour so far: Tricky crowd surfing all the way to the back of the venue while we played “Ghetto Stars” to finish the set.
And I ended my day like this: