Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weekend update 28th January 2007. Footy Match

My friend Tony from England asked me a while ago if it would be possible to arrange a footy match between a team of 13 year old lads from Barnsley and a team of 13 year olds from Barcelona.

C.D. Carmelo [Barcelona] vs Redfearns [Barnsley]!!

I'm hoping to upload a review and some photos on the upcoming days. It will depend on how much time I spend this weekend on my local Irish.
Watch this space.

Meanwhile I found this cool video of Donald Fagen in youtube. For some strange reason reminds me back on the days when I was in college. A trip back to memory lane.

Donald Fagen - New Frontier

Pedro Vila

Saturday, January 20, 2007

KES [Ken Loach] 1969

KES is the story of a 15 year old lad Billy Casper, played by a young and superb Billy Bradley. Casper is a fatherless lonely boy who lives in Barnsley a working class town located in Yorkshire, the north of England.

The young boy has a difficult upbringing, under an strict english education environment. His family doesnt helps much either as he is also constantly bullied by his old brother and ignored by his mother [she refeers to Casper as a hopeless case].

KES is the moving story of Casper and his falcon and symbolizes to me a true and beautiful story of hope and freedom, perhaps the only escape from a more than probably 'one way heading' to the pits.

The direction of Ken Loach is masterful and the spirit and sensitivity of this film is beyond words.
Although we could classify KES as a docu-drama, the film features some hilarious bits like the Football sequence or the library one.


KES is also made by non professional and local residents actors but Loach didnt miss any little detail on the film. Like for example if you notice the size in Casper clothes, you can tell they are either from a charity shop or given from his old brothers.

A spark of hope

Ken Loach has a special ability to show the struggle of the ordinary working people. On terms of the accurate portray of south Yorkshire working class life, KES was ahead of its time.

As well as Barnsley many other Villages in the north of England suffered the collapse of the industry during the devastating Thatcherian times few years after.

I visited Barnsley last year to get a Tattoo done in my friend Nigel Kurt 'Funhouse' studio. He adviced me to get maps and make sure to check the right directions before hand, because if I ever had to ask someone in there I would make it even worst.

And how right he was!

The York english accent and broad local colloquialism is preserved in the whole film's dialogue and it gets very hard to understand at some parts , even for me considering I ve lived in Whitefield and Radcliffe [North Manchester] for a while.

Never thought it could get harder than that, so I had to watch some parts of the film over and over again.

Land and Freedom-Ken Loach 1995

KES was one of first Loach films in 1969, although he did 'Golden Vision' for the BBC and 'Cathy Come Home' some time before.

There are other Ken Loach films I have seen like:

'Land and freedom', 'Bread and roses', 'Sweet sixteen', 'Carla's song' 'Raining stones' or 'The wind that shakes the Barley'.

Oh, and last but not least, KES soundtrack cant get any better.
Football memorable sequence

Some Links

Ken Loach biography


Nigel Kurt 'Funhouse' studio in Barnsley

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Kitchens Of Distinction

Kitchens of Distinction were another 80's criminally underrated band. They formed in 1986 and recorded 5 albums. Overlooked and ignored by the music media, they did split in 1996.
I love the guitars in there, I always thought they sound a lot, or at least were highly influenced by Dave&Reg of The Chameleons.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Palamós Costa Brava New years eve 2006

My friend Jordi's parents own a house in Palamos. Palamos is in Costa Brava in the Catalan mediterranean sea right on the way upnorth to France. It takes normally around an hour from Barcelona to get there.

Me and my friends Enri, Mario, Guillermo, Willy etc, we like to gather in Palamos from time to time on the odd weekend, but mostly during the summer season and also traditionally for New Years eve

Palamos isn't such a great place in Costa Brava compared to others like, let's say Begur, Pals, Cadaqués or other pintoresque small villages in the area, but being in the core of Costa Brava allows you to go around and see wild beautiful 'Calas' [Catalan name for small beach], like 'Cala estreta', 'La Fosca' or 'Cala Castell'.

This last one was recently on danger due to the project on the construction of lots of summer vilas right where there is a big forest now, but thanks to a strong local campaign 'Salvem Castells' seems things have settled back to normal.

I personally prefer to go to Palamos during winter time, for the obvious lack of annoying tourism, which makes the place, and most importantly the beach, the perfect place to be.

We also like to go to swim early in the morning the 1st of January, no matter if you had sleep or not the night before, althought this year everybody was too hammered to do it, so when my friends were in bed around 8 AM I headed myself to the beach for a long walk on my own.

It was a perfect blue skies morning and the temperature was fantastic.

This fuckers shit on you

It felt great.
It was undoubtly the best way to start a new year.

Jordi in La Fosca

Also Palamós and the area [Empordà] is well known because the strong winds called 'Tramontana', sort of Gales which can last for minutes or maybe hours.

We had a bit of tramontana the night of the 31 st.

Willy dancing some SKA with the Tramontana, not recommended after few pints!
We also like to go to Cala La Fosca to jump from the rocks to the sea.

Cala Castell

La Fosca near Palamos.

There are different levels, some rocks are at 20 feet high, others from almost 50 feet high [15 meters] and there are even higher ones.

Jordi has jumped from one of these. See the white shirt fella on top right of the pic above? [!]
He used to swim on competitions in a Catalan Team on his teen days.
Couple of spliffs and then ...some thrills

Jordi in La Fosca. Mad!

Palamos has the old quarter with plenty of narrow streets.
We had a few drinks before sunset.

The local church was decorated with some xmas lights.

You can also buy fresh fish from the local market, but you have to wake up very early to get the best stuff.

Needless to say Palamos has got a brilliant source of restaurants as fresh fish is supplied by the fisherman on daily basis.

There is also a sort of lighthouse on the rocks pier. We headed there for a walk on new years eve.


We enjoyed a top sunset.

Pure mediterranean style.

It was the perfect way to say goodbye to 2006.