Friday, May 23, 2008

Forward Festival Madrid

Couple of weeks ago got an SMS from Manchester, Alex better known as Big Clive, was coming to Spain. He was touring with the band Ladytron which where playing on the Forward Festival here in Madrid and also in Valencia. The festival was an indoors act, mostly electronica music orientated and despite I was clueless about the other bands playing I decided to go and meet him. Friday afternoon he texted me to let me know he was in a bar near Plaza del Sol drinking some spanish cider 'El Gaitero' [Which is the closest thing you can get here if you are into UK cider] so I got the tube and headed to city center. The show was in the Telefonica Arena a big venue normally used for sport events.

Telefonica Arena

The Mighty Big Clive [Alex]

As soon as we got there we headed towards guest list entrance and after Alex texted someone from the organization we were both in for free, and the tickets were bloody 50 euros.
Nice one Alex!
The place was still empty as it was a bit early, but Ladytron were lined up at 8 pm and he didn't want to miss it. After a few refreshments the music started around 6-7 and there were some Djs playing Techno-beat stuff.

Then Ladytron came to stage. I'm starting to get familiar with some of their most popular tunes as I saw the band also with Alex the year before here in Madrid too.


They play poppy industrial electro 80's sort of stuff, but none of their music is recorded so they are a 100% live act. Good for the lasses.

Then it was time for Soulwax.

Part of the weekend never dies-Soulwax

I had never heard this band before they mostly play covers from other bands and I have to say I was well impressed with their live performance.

Very dancey beat tunes.

Fanastic drummer!

The drummer was undoubtedly the highlights He was massive! When you think you know it all in music there comes sometimes a nice surprise. They wouldn't let him stop from track to track. He was ace. Somehow he spotted me on the crowd and gave me back thumbs up.
Nice one.


I took with me a new digital camera I just got the day before so it was time to do the first shoots and try the new features I didnt have with me old Sony T1 I bought 4 years ago, which in this fast digital days its like over a decade. I was a bit clueless at first, but after a while you get used to it. And the change it was well worth. I only needed to make some outdoors shots to full test my new camera performance. I would have my best opportunity the week after in The Rocket Festival in Granada.

About midnight it was time for Alaska and her band Fangoria&Nancys rubias. I ve never seen Alaska before. She is been like the sort of gay icon here in Spain, and sometimes arguably the spokewoman from the 80's spanish music-culture.
I ve never been a fan of their music but the biggest appeal was to think that Alaska and Nacho Canut [Keyboards] played in the past with Eduardo Benavente from Paralisis Permanente, criminally underrated band on the early 80s, and probably my favourite music when I was a teen.

Alaska on the early eighties

Alaska and Eduardo Benavente, third and four from left

Eduardo Benavente died on a car accident in 1983 when he was only 20 right when his band was going to kick off. He released a couple of albums and some singles with 'Paralisis Permanente'. A sadly missed talented bloke.

Eduardo Benavente 1963-1983

Back to the concert the venue was already packed and about midnight Fangoria kicked off with their most popular and radio friendly tunes. You can tell Alaska is been on the business for ages, as she seems skilled and displays full confidence on the stage. If you think of it , its been over 25 years since the days of 'Paralisis Permanente'.

Alaska band Fangoria


The lights were great and also it had the presence of The Nancys Rubias, a dance transvestite act which goes along with their show. They also placed a bit strange decoration and a huge lamp over the stage.

Nancys Rubias

Nacho Canut Keyboards

Very good sound and lights like I said. I guess been promoted by Telefonica helped. For 50 euros you cant expect less, can you?

At some point of the night I commented Alex that I was going next week to the Rocket Festival in Granada with me friends from Lincoln Dave Fielding and Becky Ward. He replied me he had a friend [John of The Calvin Party] in a band who thought was playing at the same fest, so he texted him to ask him to put us on the guest list.

Alaska Fangoria

It was a fantastic night and I ended up well pissed. It was also great to meet again Big Clive. I will see you again on the next show somewhere mate.

Tube on the way home

Ps-The very next morning I got an SMS from Alex, me and Dave Fielding were on the guest list for the Rocket Festival, which meant I saved 70 euros. Great!
Thank Alex and Thanks John!

Pedro Vila

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