The guys called us to let us know they made it to town and gave us directions to the hotel we would be staying at for the night. We hopped in the Volkswagen and drove about ten minutes just outside of Liereganes. Wyatt, the singer of the band, Craig, the guitar player (and my travel companions “boyfriend” aka her guitar god) and Damon, the bass player were all standing in front of the hotel to greet us. Big hugs all around, it had been a while since we had seen each other, they had already been touring for two and a half weeks before we arrived. Carmen, the tour manager, was also there and it was so great to finally meet her in person! Her and I had been working together via email for the past two years coordinating booking details, interviews and promotions for the show – I act as sort of the liaison between the band and the booking agent/tour manger. Jason came down from the room shortly thereafter and we headed upstairs to our rooms. It was about five o’clock in the evening and we had about an hour and a half to catch up and relax a bit before we had to meet back in the lobby to head to the venue so the guys to do sound check before the show. Jason and I got a little snooze in, but not much of one of course because we hadn’t been able to chat all day, for some reason his cell phone went wacky and decided it didn’t want to work so we had to talk about the drive and how our days went, etc. 😉
Looking through my photos, I did not get one of the outside of the hotel, but here is a picture of the view outside the window from the inside of the hotel.
We met everyone in the lobby at six in the evening and we all piled into the big blue van and drove to the venue. The town was still silent. I was still nervous about how this show was going to turn out but did not express my anxiety to any one else in fear I might pass my stress onto them. The last things the guys need is to worry about is playing to an empty room.
Here we all are, minus Damon the bass player because he is the one who took the photo, waiting on the promoter and the club owner to show up. Left to right: Shirley, Craig, Jason, Carmen, me and Wyatt.
The venue, inside, was so cool! If I was a man I believe that is exactly the way I would want my man cave to look like. Let me rephrase that, I would love to build a man cave like Los Picos for Jason, I am sure he would love it!
Stone walls, thick solid wood bar, wood floors and cut out windows with decorative wooden shutters on the inside..very cozy.
While the guys were doing sound check, Shirley started getting cranky and decided she needed to eat and eat now so we left to find a place to eat dinner. I was actually OK with that because I was a little hungry myself, the guys were busy and all of the merchandise had been set up.
We came across a restaurant/bar inside of a local hotel, I had croquette. Not as good as the croquette I had in the Netherlands many years ago but it was still delish and I was happy to have found them in Spain! Croquette is a finger food shaped like a mozzarella stick but fatter and is filled with, instead of cheese, a white sauce which is mixed with meats and fish and vegetables, the inside filling has some what of a puree texture and I love them.
We were in the restaurant for about forty-five minutes and walked back to the venue to find the doors locked. There wasn’t much to do, by the time we left, it was around seven-thirty, the town shops were closed so we took seat on a bench in front of the venue and I played bejeweled on my cell phone until someone opened the door. The guys had finished sound check and had gone to dinner, no big deal, we went in, had a drink and waited on them. Check out the ice cubes in the my glass of Jack Daniels, they look like little shot glasses!
I’m not sure how businesses stay alive in these towns, where do the people work, how do they make money to spend money? Out of curiosity, I went to my handy know everything tool..Google and found that as of 2011 the population of Lierganes was only 2,457. I suppose many of the almost 200,000 people of Santander, which is eight miles north of Lierganes, may come to contribute to contribute to their economy. It is a perfect little get away town that if I lived in the area I would want to frequent.
The venue, Los Picos, was celebrating its forty-fifth year in business and the promoter working for Los Picos certainly must have done his job in spreading the word. Combine those factors along with the simple fact that Spain, plain and simple, loves American Southern Rock music and you have the success that was.
Just as the doors were opening, Jason and I went into the back stage area, he likes his quiet time before he hits the stage. The room was a little bigger than my bedroom walk in closet at home and it was there you could really feel the age of the building. Bands from all over the world leave their marks on the wall to let everyone know they have been there, shelves racked around the room are full of classic American vinyl records, old guitars leaning up again the walls and of course them empty bottles of liquor complete the Rock n’ Roll themed backstage area.
The rest of the guys came in to let Jason know there was only ten minutes to show time, with that said, I made my way back out to the bar area..I needed a refill anyway 😉
I was surprised to find….a full house! People of all ages, not kidding you, there were kids of eighteen years and there were adults of sixty years in this crowd. What’s happening is the older generation is finding Hogjaw’s music and in a not so common fate between parent and child, their children also come to love the music and join them to see the show. I can’t say the oddity of parent and child enjoying the same music is new to the Hogjaw scene, I hear of these stories from the parents back home as well, it is new to the stereo typical parent-child relationship regarding music.
At live shows I typically am running around taking photos, trying to get the perfect “Oh my god that’s awesome” shot. This show there were so many photographers and videographers I decided to take a back seat and let them do their thing. There were also so many people there I could not get to a good spot to take that shot. I did bring my camera and of course I did take a couple pictures so here they are:
He works hard for his money!
One of the videographers..Doing what he does – I stayed out of the way 😉
From what I remember, they played for two hours, they have 30 songs plus a few cover songs they like to play as well. With all of their material they have plenty of time to give the crowd what they want..music to feel, love and rock to!
Two hours is a long time and I have seen Hogjaw play many many many many times since the group inception so sometime during the set I went out side to get some “fresh” air. I say “fresh” air not because Spain doesn’t have fresh air but because I am a nasty smoker and I went out to smoke..there I said it! 🙂
So, I went out to get some “fresh” air and these two guys were also out there..polluting their lungs with the nastiness. I ended up trying to have a conversation with a couple of Spanish men..trying? Yes, trying because I have a very limited Spanish vocabulary and these guys had an even more limited English vocabulary. It was fun, I was trying to teach them how to pronounce English words and they were trying to teach me new Spanish words. Finally, a guy who spoke English pretty well came over to tell me just what one of the guys really wanted….He wanted to cut a snippet of my hair. Apparently, he was telling me how beautiful my hair was and that he had a hair fetish and would love to add a clump of my hair to his collection. I was mortified, I have never heard of anything such as a hair fetish in my entire life. It very much creeped me out! The creepy hair fetish guy that followed me around for the remainder of the night is on the right