Took a train journey to Barcelona last week via Paris and Montpellier for the yearly electro-fest that is Sonar. Paris was sweltering under a hot summer sun as we arrived at 2.55pm and dashed for the nearest bar near the Gare du Nord to watch another disappointing England World Cup match. As well as drinking £5 pints, I was also served a glass of Paris’ finest green coloured tap water which tasted of iron. I’m sure he’d spiked it to annoy les rosbifs watching football and getting in his way.
In the evening we hit the areas of Republique/Belleville with an aim of finding a “soirée Drum’n'Bass” in a bar called Zorba. What we found was 3 mates messing around on some decks, stopping records halfway through and half-a-dozen junglists looking irked and confused. We left and continued our mojito fuelled night meeting a barman who lived in Reading (it has a good scene!), a club which played Nirvana followed by some current DNB (unusual!) where the bar staff sprayed soda water over the dancefloor, a couple of Parisiens who we amused talking bad French to until 6am sat outside a bar, sitting on an abandoned leather sofa waving at motorists at 8am and finishing the night off at the Organic Market having some amazingly fresh potato pancake things.
Looking at 6 million skulls in the catacombs was a suitable punishment for our hangovers the next day I suppose….
Anyway fast forward to Wednesday (a double decker TGV train to Montpellier in first class was sweet – watching France draw – the beach in Carnon and a 4 hour train to Barcelona).
Sonar is a slight blur. 3 days and 2 nights of music/djs/installations/exhibitions and of course drinking and dancing. Somehow the 2 nights out turned into 4 nights and sleeping was something that took place between 8am and 2pm most days with an early evening siesta. But we saw a lot of good honest stuff. Hot Chip/Goldfrapp/Tucker/Chic (yes Chic! Freak Our and We Are Family)/Sasha/Jeff Mills/Rahzel/Miss Kitten/Linton Kwesi Johnson/Kindred Spirits/The MFA/Diplo vs A-Trak/Dave Clark/Richie Hawtin. Phew. It was good. Very good.
Beach party on Sunday afternoon was just starting to warm up as we left for Barcelona Franca Station for our 9pm train to Paris. Arrived back in Sheffield at 6pm the following day for a well deserved sleep.