Category Archives: Travels

Flashback Friday: London 2015

Argh! It’s been two weeks already since I don’t update this site and I feel like shit about it, but honestly I wasn’t in the mood nor didn’t find the right time to do so, and the past days have been so weird my mind was to stressed to write. I hate when I have this shitty writer’s block. One of the reasons I keep this blog alive it’s because it usually works as some sort of funnel.

On this day two weeks ago I was having a veggie burger and a tasty spicy Turkish salad with my friend Veronica near Old Street in London. We came back to this beloved city again to attend a Ryan Adams show at Hammersmith Apollo on Friday 27th and the trip was amazing. Now there’s no point in talking about  the show, which was a blast, nor how great was to meet friends who were also spending the weekend there for the same reason, so instead I’m posting some pix of that wonderful time .

tetis

apollo

foreros

ryan4

setlist ryan adams

ryan5

crobar

vero

pints and postcards

Thanks to all the people who contributed to a weekend of laughs, lots of pints of beer, friendship and happiness. Now it seems to be ages ago, but it was fantastic.I love you! ❤

Greetings from Shitsville, London.

Every time I visit London the same doubts and uncertainty rise in my head. Will it be even more different than the last time? Will my own London still remain the same? Will I still be in love with the city?

jaume and toi

I don’t go to London to see friends anymore, even though there are still some I’m in touch with, and don’t go as a tourist either, as I already know what I needed to know about the city. Beside, in the last years, London is not the affordable destination it used to be, with accommodation and public transport at outrageous rates. Shows are my current motivation. Up to date, I’ve never enjoyed live shows most but in London. Venues are cool, beer is affordable, audience is extremely livid and intense, and bands love playing there. The gig culture reigning is, in my humble opinion, the best, and I always love the vibe and the atmosphere, no matter what kind of show I’m about to see.

This time there were many factors which helped this trip to be special. On one hand it was my friend Jaume’s first trip to the old city, so I had to be some sort of cool guide, with the responsibility it implies, and on the other because the show we were attending featured Hey!Hello! and our beloved The Wildhearts, band which Jaume introduced thanks to a best of, in my life.

april and london 070

The stay was terrific. We enjoyed very good weather, had tons of laughs, joined my friend Ana, who is currently living and working there, for drinks, and I had a great surprise when coming out from the venue after the show, suddenly I was facing my best friend in my London years, Lukas, who is adorable, but a complete disaster getting in touch. Coincidence? Nah, I don’t think so. It was awesome, all the same.

I’d like to leave the leisure side of the trip aside, as the most remarkable event was no doubt the show. It was officially the 4th time I was seeing The Wildhearts. I remark  officially, because I happened to see them in one or two festivals in UK but since I wasn’t acquainted with them, didn’t pay them attention. Anyway, one of the shows was also in London in 2007 at the disappeared Astoria club, before Christmas, which also was full.

This time it was at Electric Ballroom in Camden, a venue I had only been before for clubbing and on Sunday market. A guy told us capacity was approx 1200people, less than Astoria’s, and tickets were sold out.

red stripe

We visited The World’s End pub for the previous drinks and it was then when I got my London vibe back. Classic British metal out loud, the pub packed, Ritch, The Wildhearts’ drummer was hanging with friends there, and this party atmosphere was so intense it really cheered me up.

After being warmed up enough we went to the venue as we wanted to see Hey! Hello! Ginger’s project with Victoria Liedtke. Their act featured 8 songs, included their hit ‘Swimwear’, and ‘Feral Days’, ‘How I Survived the Punk Wars’ and ‘Black Valentine’. We immediately noticed the impressive voice of Victoria, and the quality of sound at the venue, making it easy to distinguish and perceive the melodies of the different members in the band. She really looked nice, the way she jumped and danced, and the funny way she introduced the songs, making jokes all the time. A funny contrast between American and British. I liked it.

heyhello

We were a bit tired after our intense morning walk and decided to chill out a bit, while the second act was taking place. Mainly because it was a Swedish prog band playing, and at that moment we needed an upper, rather than something complex, musically speaking.

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When the time came, we couldn’t be more excited. The fuckin’ Wildhearts were playing and we were there ready to rock. And it was a hell of a show, damn! Never seen Ginger so happy, and the band so solid, compact and powerful. No doubt it was the best performance I had seen, in terms of quality. What a blast! They chose ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ as the starter, probably one of my top 3 favorite WH songs, and ‘TV Tan’ followed. By the third song, Jaume had already lost his voice and I was bawling all the songs as if that was my last day on Earth. The set list was perfect, hit after hit after motherfuckin’ hit, and the crowd was insane. Oh, man! It feels so good to be surrounded by unknown people mad about the band in the same way or even more passionate than you do!

It’s almost impossible a band like this comes back to Spain, when only 100 people attend their shows. It’s not worth it. We are not worthy. And it’s a pity, but we don’t have a proper rock culture and philosophy, supply/demand is nonsense here. And of course, The Wildhearts are one of the most underrated rock bands on Earth.

I feel pity for those who are not acquainted with this band, because I’m positive their lives would be much better if they could enjoy the work of The Wildhearts.

I only hope I manage to see them next time soon.

Bless Ginger, CJ, Scott and Ritch, and those who were left behind. Long Live The Wildhearts!

THOSE LANDSCAPES WAITING FOR ME

When you think of the places you’ve ever been, you come to realize that the world is bigger that we thought when staring at the globe at class when we were kids. It’s actually frustrating because you come to the conclusion you’ve barely seen, what? 5% of it being generous?

You can travel often, but there’s always the Lonely Planet friend, who’s even visited places you weren’t acquainted with their existence. Better not to be a jealous person regarding travels, because it can be depressing.

I love travelling, but don’t see myself as a traveler. First, my economy started being strong enough to assume 10-12 days getaway overseas when I was close to 30, thus for many years I couldn’ afford but purchasing flight tickets to UK to visit my old pals; Second, I’m not as adventurer as to travel as a backpacker, sleeping on the floor and washing in cold water. I’m a pro-civilization girl, with all the comforts of modern life; Holidays aren’t made for suffering, so I’m not interested in visiting places where poverty kicks in your jaw right away. I don’t need that kind rewarding experience in my life. I’m least I’m not ready for that yet.

For the past year I can’t complain at all. I’ve visited some beautiful cities in Europe with the target of attending shows, and it’s been worth experiencing. However, partly because of this consumerist culture and also influenced by my surroundings, the meaning of travelling means to move to a different country. I’m totally broke nowadays, but eventually this situation will change, so I’ll be able to move again and discover the beautiful locations I’ve dreamt of for years.

We have to set imaginary targets, yet feasible at some point, as to create expectations and keep motivation alive.

Despite my urban nature, the truth is that there are certain landscapes I really want to see with my own eyes. These is my Wishlist:

ANTELOPE CANYON, US – In Navajo land, Arizona, this place is full of magic. The sunlight combined with the eroded landscape, slipping into the crack walls, create amazing stamps. The shape and structure of the stones, the palette of tonalities and shades, the feeling of the greatness of Nature. I need to touch and feel those seams.

MIYAJIMA, JP – Unfortunately when I visited Japan in March 2010, weather was rough, and snow was forecasted the days we had scheduled to visit Hiroshima and this beautiful city with the Itsukushima Shrine’s floating Torii. I had unfinished business with the land of the new rising sun, because there are many places I missed, and also would love having renewed memories, as in 2010 the trip was quite revealing in some aspects, and if not on my own, I’d love to share the experience with different company, and move South, moving to Okinawa if possible.

AYERS ROCK, AU – I just need to stare at this huge sandstone in the middle of nowhere in Australia. It really seems something come from outer space, and makes me think of Mars and Close Encounters of the third Kind. The contrast of the red tone against the blue in the sky in unique, and its greatness seems overwhelming.

PATAGONIA – PERITO MORENO, AR – I still don’t know anyone who’s visited Patagonia who got disappointed. Just the opposite. I reckon people come back swearing that’s the most amazing place they’re even seen. And I fully trust those friends who’ve been so passionate when talking about the glacier Perito Moreno. When I’ve been shown pictures I’ve ended up with my mouth wide open , in love with those beautiful postcards.

TECTONIC PLATES, IS – as weird as it seems, I’m completely serious. Iceland is there, isolated and volcanic, and leaving the revolutionary politic measures taken some time ago aside, its complex geology offers amazing landscapes, where all the elements fight for their hegemony. Volcanoes, geysers, fjords, glaciers, and many parks, the Iceland seems to be a rough place for living. Regarding the tectonic plates, it was a documentary about plates and faults, the clashes and movements, which discovered me the images of areas in Iceland when one foot can be in America, and the other in Europe, and I thought that was one of the coolest things I ever heard of, so I wanna step on the two continents at the same time, and take the stupid picture ok me posing with one of my typical stupid #EpicWin faces.

There were two sources of  inspiration for writing this post. On one hand, a phone call I received yesterday from a guy who simply asked me if a job position in Abu Dhabi would be attractive and worth considering  as to move there for a long time, and on the other hand Marita, a girl from Mallorca who I reckon is the most experienced traveler I’ve ever met, and the perfect person to get great tips because she usually keeps these travel diaries describing everything, who answered to a question regarding Abu Dhabi I posted on Twitter right away. You should visit her blog, Trips and Things by M, very inspiring and useful.

One thing left to another and I started thinking which landscapes I must see before I die. Pictures and documentaries are not enough, I want to feel, breath and capture the details not only trough my camera, but also in my mind, just for myself.

This time I encourage you to answer to this post and share with me which landscapes you’d like to see for yourself, at least once in your lifetime. Let’s dream awake and escape from reality at lteast for a while.

CHAPTER II – AMSTERDAM TATTOO MUSEUM

After enjoying my first beers in Amsterdam, at a pub named Sound Garden (awesome!), and Sofia and I moving from one topic of discussion to other in a flash, for so much we had to update each other, Saturday morning and part of th afternoon I had to hit the road on my own. Not a problem whatsoever, I’ve realized I love wandering on the streets with the sole companion of my Ipod and the camera. Unfortunately gotta admit, due to super cold weather, I haven’t been very productive in terms of quantity, but there are some stamps worth keeping, so despite everything, I’m happy on this regard.

I had been lucky to inherit a transport ticket valid for 72h, however I wasn’t so lucky with day passes, and I wasn’t in the mood for spending 40Eur in a 24 all-in card to visit the museums crowded by tourists, so I decided an alternative plan, and chose The Amsterdam Tattoo Museum, to pay a visit, and be warm safeguarded for a while.

And this is how it was:

Considering tattoos have an expiring date regardless of quality, the concept of a museum is something difficult to understand for obvious reasons.

The fact that flesh cannot be preserved, does not mean that there aren’t so many other features involved. There’s a universe of stuff to dive in, related to the art of ink: devices and tools, ancient traditions and cultures the inking meant something even magic, tattoo artists, illustrations and designs, and lot of memorabilia.

All of a sudden I might seem the defendant #1 of tattoos, and that’s not true, but since I had these last two pieces, changing and moving upwards to a more pro level, it’s true I’m absolutely fascinated by color palettes, shading, techniques, style…and of course, the artists themselves.

All this been said, and sitting at the Museum café, surrounding by paintings, magazines and displays showing the close relationship among tattoos and rock, and enjoying a Grolsh (ages since I didn’t have one), let me tell you about this place.

First thing to mention, is tha the founder of this museum is Henk Schiffmacher. Ok, most likely you don’t know who he is. I didn’t either, till I checked his name on the net, and discovered that Hanky Panky has featured Red Hot Chili Peppers members, Willy DeVille and even KurtCobain among his clients. He’s also published several books of tattoos compilations, for instance those of Taschen you can find anywhere.

Three floors of stuff worth seeing. The concept of the exhibition is to navigate through the history of the body art.

The starting point had to do on one hand, with ancient Catholic related symbols, supposed to be inked as protectors and marks highlighting a holy mission,  and on the other with Africa, and the early Coptic and Berber tattoos and scarification techniques, really impressive.

Native America tattooing continues, to extend up to the Pacific tribes of Samoans, and Mahoris… Although the style is similar, the symbols and locations are different, implying also ranks and families.

Needless to say, there’s a special area covering all the Japanese and Korean strong and ancient tradition, with their ceremonies, the family involvement and other practices.

The 2nd and 3rd floor are more focused into a more frivolous and contemporary side of the tattoo world. Prison and Carnivale circus, some classic characters remembered, such as CindyRay and Princess Beatrice, the tattooed ladies, and artist icons such as Sailor Jerry, PeterA’Dam or Les Skuse are paid tribute. Recreations of circus, prisons cabin booths, and tattoo parlours are nicely displayed.

At this point I have to make a stop and remark something. In less than 24h I’ve been here, I can tell this city is not cheap at all. I had been warned that, due to become one of the most demanded European destination, partly because of all this pot culture, tourism has directly caused you to be charged as much as possible. Also, the country welfare status, has to do with it.

After this remark, I have to admit that this Amsterdam Tattoo Museum admission fee of 10Eur is a bit excessive, but on the other hand, checking other museums ticket prices, is average.

Truth is that, to make the visit more interesting, there are several added values, you can enjoy. Many activities are constantly programmed, art exhibitions, live music, and even freak shows. There are also a couple of tattoo parlours, you can get inked agreeing the rate with the artist. I almost got seduced by a very charming boy from Sacramento, named Chris Danley  (but turned down the offer after I received some awesome news I’ll tell you about in some time). It’s also very interesting  this museum regularly has very established worldwide artists as guests from time to time, thus, perhaps, if you’re interested in having an appointment with Tim Hendricks, for instance, you can have your chance.

You can check some more information here:

Amsterdam Tattoo Museum

Henk Schiffmacher

Chris Danley