not only do I cough less standing up than lying down, the jags of hacking agree to wait until the song’s over – at which point, I do a more-or-less discrete rumble into the convenient flouncy scarf. I’d noticed the same phenomenon the year my knees felt in need of re-tooling: singing, hand clapping and dance-stepping away on stage… followed by the limp and shuffle to the closest chair at the end of the set.
The set last night lasted ninety minutes. I have no speaking voice this morning which is all right – although she enjoys my attempts at conversation, the dog doesn’t expect them. She’s sprawled in the patch of sunlight near the living-room window. I’m not quite so relaxed. There’s food to buy and regular Sunday sundries such as laundry to work into the plan. Then, we do voice warm-up around two-thirty and go up on another stage around four-thirty or five. A much shorter set in a totally different venue. Many in the audience last night – both young and old – sang along to El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido because they knew the words as well as we do. Some asked that we segue into Bella Ciao. We gave them Amballati instead.
A few weeks ago, one of the boys from Mali cringed at the word alcohol. What schooling he’d had was in a Coranic school. Two of the boys were at the concert last night. The venue : a local bar-café. Alcoholic drinks flowed around them, they sipped juice and cola in a state of slightly dazed euphoria, most of the time, and of bewildered stupor, often.
Images of Compay Segundo float by. The Buenavista Social Club recordings. Will have to play in my head for now while more words collect for the proto draft. Hecha! Compay. Hecha!