The Bandalucia Rock Festival was somewhere that I certainly didn't expect to be smack bang in the middle of during a family holiday. To be honest I didn't go looking for it, someone just suggested to me that I might like to go, how could I refuse after being given my wife's blessing to go as she stayed home with my two young sons. The venue was situated alongside in what seemed to be the car park for the Bar Los Pedreros which was out in the country with scenery looking like it was out of a western cowboy movie. The entry price was just 10 Euro and all profits were to go to the Haiti relief benefit with the price for a cold beer at just 2 Euro.
When I arrived there was already a Spanish band on stage called 'Nefesta' who were all dressed in Slipknot style orange jump suits and horror masks, their set comprised of a few of their own hard rock numbers with a couple of Metallica covers and during one of the numbers an electric chair was bought on stage and one of the band members, has a simulation of an execution which seemed to get a good reaction from the small crowd.
A complete change of pace was next from Yorkshire band 'Mercedes' who arrived on stage just as it was getting dark, their softer sound was welcome after the noise of 'Nefesta'. This four piece band which includes husband and wife Mark and Sharon Pinchen on bass and vocals, Sharon's vocal were truly something special and reminded me a little of 70's singer Karen Carpenter, their songs had some great subject matter and kept me hooked all the way through their set. The in-between song chatter included Sharon introducing the band including her husband, she said that he snore's in bed and stated "I like that because I know he's still alive" which was such a wonderful loving statement giving everybody a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
The next two bands were Spanish 'La Skala Da Richer' and 'No Portable' and were both completely different styles, they both put in really good performances making me feel a little embarrassed that I could not speak enough Spanish to understand what they were saying. 'La Skala Da Richer' are a five piece hard rock band fronted by vocalist Juan who's vocals complemented the twin guitars attack well giving the audience just what they expected at a 'Rock' festival. 'No Portable' were certainly band that knew how to handle a festival crowd and got the audience clapping and singing along to their catchy ska style sound of music which included great use of a trumpet and keyboards which complemented the guitars really well.
The time was now around 3am and as we were in the middle of nowhere there was no curfew and the 70's punk band 'UK Subs' took to the stage with lead singer 'Charlie Harper' storming around the large stage ably accompanied by his band comprising of Jet (Guitar), Jamie Oliver (Drums) and sporting a great red Mohawk Chema Zurita (Bass). The band ploughed a set which covered much of their back catalogue mostly numbers that ranged from 1-2 minutes in length played at a break neck speed including guest vocals from a fan invited from the audience. Charlie Harper announced during the encored they were going to play a Guns 'n' Roses cover, making reference to the fact that they covered the UK Subs number 'Down on the Farm on the album 'The Spaghetti Incident'. The band try and leave the stage and are called back for an encore and they invite a young fan called 'Jade' out of the audience to accompany them on a track that they just made up on stage which was titled 'Banda Lucia'. Punk is not dead it is still out there to be found even in the most unexpected of places!!!