Category Archives: music

El Canto del Loco

ECDL are a pop-rock band hailing from Madrid. Fronted by Dani Martín, they have been a fixture in the Spanish music scene for a decade. Most Madrilena females can sing at least a couple of their songs off-by-heart and are known to sigh heavily when band members enter their presence.

Here’s a classic example. A ballad. Listen to the crowd sing-a-long.

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Things to do for free in Madrid

I can’t believe I haven’t come across this website before today. MadridFree is a daily updated site featuring the latest exhibitions, concerts, special events and other cool and interesting stuff that you can do in the city FOR FREE. The site has an English section too, although it’s clear that most of the articles have just been put through a translator program.

Each event is illustrated with a photo and there is a categorised list for easy navigation to the event type of your choice. You can also subscribe and get the latest events auto-fwded to your inbox / twitter / facebook account etc.

This site is going in my sidebar. Muy bueno!

Madrid 1983 – Aviador Dro

Nuclear Si, Por Supuesto.

Antonio Vega Dies Aged 51

Madrid-born Antonio Vega Tallés, lead singer and guitarist for the band Nacha Pop and writer of one of Spain’s best loved pop songs “Chica de ayer“, died today aged only 51 years.

Every news programme in Spain has covered his passing away because he and his band were genuine stars in the Movida Madrileña, the late 1970s / early 1980s artistic and socio-cultural movement that occurred in the aftermath of Spain’s ‘Transition’.

The band had split in 1988 and Antonio had forged a respected solo career, only to be cut short by pneumonia brought on by cancer of the heart.

RIP.

Sala BarCo

Madrid half emptied for Easter – and walking around the centre of town over the weekend was very pleasant as the rushing and bumping and elbowing that normally occurs was absent. It also meant most of the cafes, bars and nightclubs weren’t packed to the rafters (as is usual), so myself and four friends took the opportunity on Friday to make a proper night of it in our old hunting ground of Malasaña.

We started with drinks and tapas in plaza de San Ildefonso at Restaurante Conhache. Too cold to sit at the outside terrace, which was deserted, we went inside, which was also deserted. This is almost unheard of as Conhache is the only drinks establishment in the square and is thus SUPER popular. For dinner (at a suitable Madrileño time – i.e nigh on midnight) we went to Madrid Madriz, a popular cafe close to metro Tribunal. Again, this can be a very popular spot because it’s cheap, stays open late and the food is good quality and served fast.

Suitably prepped, we headed off into the maze of old, narrow streets that make up the Malasaña zone and wiggled our way to Sala BarCo.

Located on calle del Barco (geddit?) and open most nights it’s best known for live concerts on the funky-jazz-blues side of things, with some flamenco fusion. But after 1.00am (and we arrived at 0200hrs) it’s DJ time, playing funky hip-hop with a latin tinge. 8 euros to get in but you get a drink with that. The crowd were 20s to 30s mostly, dressed casually but fashionable and digging the music.

Again, because of the holidays, the place was not full which meant we had lots of room and getting to the bar was easy. Maybe this lack of crush influences my thoughts about the place, because I thought it was great. My compadres told me that it can be absolutely rammed at weekends and I’m not sure that I would like that. One other thing in its favour – it has the best acoustics and best sound equipment I have heard in years. The ceilings have been properly covered with sound insulation materials and the speakers, amps, mixing desks etc. were top drawer. Clear, crisp top notes, profound and well formed bass – it really augmented the experience.

Trawling around YouTube I found loads of videos of concerts at Sala Barco, but I thought this one (below) was quite cute. You gotta dig the Spanish accent singing Dr. Feelgood!

Introducing El Canto del Loco

Currently in Argentina touring their latest album, El Canto del Loco, or ECDL as their fans often refer to them, are a pop / rock band from Madrid.

Founded by Daniel Martín García (aka Dani) and Ivan Alejandro Ganchegui (who would leave in 2002 ), they were later joined by guitarist David Otero Martín, drummer Alejandro Velazquez Insua (Jandro), and bassist José Ruiz Casares (aka Chema). They’re signed to Sony and have released 8 albums.

Here’s their video for the single ‘Peter Pan’ – which was released in 2008 and made No.1 in Spain.

Coldplay in Madrid

Tonight, at the Palacio de Deportes in central Madrid, Chris Martin and the gang came to play. The previous night (Saturday) the band had also played in Barcelona.

Both concerts were in aid of Oxfam and to publicise its campaign “Comercio con Justicia” (Fair Trade). Several lucky volunteers for this organisation got given free tickets.

Before the Madrid leg the band did a TV interview and Chris Martin was cheekily asked which city he preferred. He told the interviewer that this was a forbidden question. “There are two prohibited questions in this interview, yeah? You don’t ask about our relationships and you don’t ask about the Barcelona versus Madrid thing.” lol.

The majority of the concert was taken up with tracks from the Viva la Vida album but of course they bunged in a few of the classics from previous albums as well. It wasn’t the full-on concert and lightshow spectacular but it was as professional as always and everyone had a good sing-a-long and got sent home happy.