Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lots of mornings I see car crash accidents on my way to work here in Madrid. I saw this one the other day on my way to work near Coslada in the suburbs and I took a quick photo with a mobile phone. I wonder how the hell do you do that?, and its a taxi!

Since January we have a new law in Spain where you lose points in your driving license, but seems to me that people is not really bothered about. I reckon in 2 or 3 years time 50% of the drivers will have no points anymore. Time will say

Monday, March 17, 2008

RIP Bryan Glancy 1966-2006 The seldom seen kid

RIP Bryan Glancy 1966-2006

Some years ago I ran away from Barcelona and went to live to North Manchester. I used to hang around quiet a lot in the northern quarter, right in city center. From time to time I used to bump into Bryan Glancy here and there. He usually was on his own, so was I and we normally had a few drinks [or more] together. Night&Day, The Roadhouse, Ten Bar and a few others I dont recall. The Temple of Convenience was one of his favorite bars.

Bryan, Lawrence, Jan and me on the right in Night &Day sometime in 1998

About 2 am when the the clubs on the area were shut,  we used to stay behind in Night&Day having a smoke and a few drinks with Jan the landlord and some of the Bouncers and staff I knew there : Lawrence Jackson [A true Scott gentleman] , Adam, Locksley from The Mancunian pub in old Trafford, the guys from Manchester band Elbow   and other usual suspects

Clockwise: Bryan behind, Lawrence Jackson, Jan, Adam, me, Jan's friend and the Bloke of Elbow

It did always surprise me how emotive Bryan was every time we meet. He was true and charming, his hugs were honest, I could feel it.

I even went to see him playing live a few times. The last time it was a sort of acoustic guitar set in some basement in a club in Manchester city center called The Retro Bar. There was almost nobody there, barely just me and Bryan and to be honest I somehow I felt a bit sorry for me friend. But the poor attendance didn't seem to bother him at all!. He undoubtedly gave all his best.

Bryan Glancy present. Back cover of the 7" The Mouth

One night we crashed at his place in Prestwich, we drank, smoke, talked and play some music. He had a pretty good record collection. I also remember at some point how he was showing me very proudly his Beatles figures memorabilia. Bryan was a big Beatles fan.
I remember he did not have central heating in the house so he grabbed a small axe and we did start breaking to pieces the furniture he had left in the house to try to warm us up a bit on the fire. Chairs, tables anything really!. We had a good laugh.
Bryan lived in a big house, I think he mentioned it used to be the old Portuguese consulate in Manchester or something like that.

I took this photo some late night in Night&Day: Glancy, Jan and Locksley

Later that night [or I should say early morning] when I was on the front door leaving, Bryan gave me to my surprise a couple of vinyls as a present, the 12" 'Tony Fletcher walked in water' of The Chameleons [One of my favourite bands by the way] and a 7 inch single of his old band 'The Mouth'.
Bryan, Lawrence Jackson the N&D bouncer at the time and me with a weird wig 

He knew I was a big fan of The Chameleons so I thanked him for the records and asked him twice if he was sure about, aware of how difficult it is to find them on vinyl shops this days. It was the only copies he had!. He replied with a -'Sure mate!' and told me how he used to play with Mark Burgess in the past and more particularly on the album 'Zyma Junction'.
Right!- I thought, meet this lad several times and now I just find out about that, something I was totally unaware of, even being a good Chameleons fan! Oh well….Typical on me.

It was around 9 o'clock and the sun was shinning [A pretty rare thing in Manchester to be honest!]. I told him goodbye and took a Taxi on my way home to Whitefield where I was leaving at the time.
I wont forget how happy I was on that moment, tired, bit drunk still but having enjoyed such a great night….  and also as the cherry of the cake carrying Bryan vinyl presents under my arm. I will always keep them as a very special items. 
 A few months later I left England.
It wasn't last time I saw Bryan Glancy as I spent a few more good times with him after that  but somehow I remember that night as an special one.
The 20th January 2006 was a very sad day. Bryan Glancy passed away in Manchester. Things will not be the same in Mancunia anymore. But he will always be remembered for many. He is, an always will be,  an essential part in Manchester musical history

We will never forget you Bryan.

Link to Bryan's tribute blog sites:

I have a few more photos some where  and other stories with Bryan Glancy, that I will share another day

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pedraforca easter 2007

Last easter holidays I went to the Pedraforca mountain with my friends Jordi, Mario&his dog Layla and Guillermo. Pedraforca is a very symbolic mountain in Catalunya maybe due to its strange shape as its got two summits or peaks on top with 2.479 mts high [about 8133 ft.].

Jordi and Mario crossing a narrow path about 5 or 6.000 ft high, I am the one walking behind, you let the experts go on the front! and believe me you didnt want to look down a little mistake and you are done. There was still some snow spots but only in the north side. Mario's dog Layla was reckless but I ll bet you she was more confident and save than any of us!

Jordi Mario and me

To get the top you have to walk about 4 or 5 hours depending how fit you are, but I guess its possible to make it on less than that. But certainly not when you had a few beers before as we did that morning ... ha ha ..

Left summit

The distance takes about 5 miles. I wouldn't say its a hard mountain I ve been in other ones more difficult like Mt Perdido [3.355 mts - 11.000 ft] on the Pyrenees or Pica D' Estats which is the highest in the catalan Pyrenees.
Pedraforca has its difficult parts though but its a friendly mountain for starters.
So about 3 or 4 hours later we reached the top, the view was fantastic and a well deserve smoke was waiting for us!

View from the other side

We have got some friends have made the top but climbing the walls and this is the real thing! Its the second time I have been in Pedraforca mountain, but it wont be the last.

Guillermo Pyrenees Monte Perdido

Here is Guillermo on the way to Monte Perdido summit with Pineta valley behind, which was the way we walked from. And this was only about half way! We have been there 4 times and Im sure we will be more. I will upload some photos about this odyssey another day.