Sunday, November 11, 2007

Un poco más

We just got back from La Fontana de Oro. This is one of Madrid's many Irish bars, and a great live music venue. (The link is a Top 10 Live Music guide, and also lists Café Central, another favourite, so I'll probably be following up on some of the other venues in the next few months.)

This was our second visit. We took a walk last night, and came across it then - happily - because a) we were planning to go and listen to Sí Sí Riders again tonight - this time with lots of people from work - but couldn't quite find the Calle Victoria on our streetmap; and b) Capítan Soul happened to be on, playing a solid R&B set. They were very good, though the lead guitarist's vocals weren't up to their overall musicianship. Their website shows 2 female singers in a 4/5 piece group, but they were playing as an all-male three-piece last night. I'd definitely go again if they had their full line-up, and as it was, we stayed til gone 1 a.m. and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

La Fontana de Oro has its thirteenth anniversary this month, and a full programme of live music. Actually, it's the Irish bar that's 13 : the original FdO opened for business in the 1840s, as a cafe and - literally - a chat room - where people gathered to discuss life , the universe, and everything. Like the Café Comercial, where we went last week, this evolved into one of Madrid's tertulias, or literary circles, and the setting for Benito Pérez Galdós's first novel. Er..... that would be.... La Fontana de Oro ........

I'd never heard of Pérez Galdós before, but that says more about my ignorance of Spanish literature than anything else. Wikipedia says that many consider him second only to Cervantes.

Anyway, he was a contemporary of the Valencian artist, Joaquín Sorolla (Now him I have heard of, and appreciate: I saw an exhibition of his work last year, in Granada, and framed the poster.) And here's Sorolla's portrait of Pérez Galdós:

The FdO has a copy painted on tiles. A nice touch.

And Sí Sí Riders turned in another lively evening's entertainment. Those guys can really play.

I think we're having a lie-on tomorrow.

Oh, and it seems that there's a ghost, too. In England, we go for headless ghosts, but this one is apparently bottomless.

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