Madrid-Cordoba-Lisbon 28,29,30 April 2019

Sunday’s show in Madrid’s Wiznik Centre was to a capacity audience of 10,300 good folks. The Wiznik however has a wicked slap-back, meaning the sound of the music hits the back wall and bounces back to the stage somewhat delayed. Playing with in-ear monitors certainly helps as they seal a good deal of outside sound from your ears. Still, it wasn’t enough to diminish the volume of slap-back enough and it was a little challenging to play. We simply put our heads down and worked straight through it, enjoying every minute.

The following morning, April 29th, we departed Madrid for Cordoba. Madrid is a wonderful city and one that I feel I could live in, but for now it’s time to move on. Our driver got lost on the way to the airport but thanks to the good guidance of our tour manager Tim Hook along with Guy Fletcher, both armed with smart phones, we finally hit our target and were soon aloft. Our favourite air hostess, Daniella has been with us again for a few days though sadly will not be along for the entire tour. Daniella had platters of chilled, delicious langoustine, shrimp, crab, lobster and smoked salmon all served, devoured and cleared quickly for this :50 minute flight. We last played Cordoba in 2010 at this same bullring, Plaza de Toros Los Califas. I immediately remembered the large main dressing rooms with numerous, mounted bull heads. Flamenco guitar star, Vicente Amigo popped in to say hello. A number of years ago Guy produced a wonderful album for Vicente in London at British Grove Studios. Also good seeing our friend and promoter for the Spanish shows, Chris Ortiz. The outdoor shows are always relaxed and this evening was no different. A quick runner from the stage to our hotel in Cordoba where nobody could get the fancy, over engineered digital keys to open their rooms. Once inside, the internet was in-op. This left only one option; adjourn to the bar. It was already late when we got there and after a couple rounds the barman went home leaving the place to us. A real case of inmates bing in charge. By the time we called it a day it was indeed…. 4:30 in the morning.

Later that morning before flying to Lisbon, our friend Chris Ortiz kindly took us all to the spectacular El Envero restaurant in Cordoba for an early lunch. It will be useless for me explaining how delicious everything was from multiple starters of freshly baked rolls with dark green olive oil, tomatoes in a thin basil pesto, pureed almond paste, local cheeses, lightly fried croquettes…. all prior to the entree. I ordered a beef tenderloin steak dusted with coarsely ground salt that you could cut with a butter knife, served on top of whipped, mustard mashed potatoes. A serious and memorable lunch. If ever in Cordoba don’t fool around, get yourself to El Envero…. After lunch we arrived at the airport, boarded the plane and were told our flight would be delayed for an hour or more due to landing slots in Lisbon. Between the night before and the massive amount of food consumed at lunch, everyone simply put their seats back and took a siesta.

We arrived in Lisbon and went straight to the venue Altice Arena for our Tuesday night show. I think a few brave souls made it to catering but I was not one… still too full. On stage at 9:15 and a great show, some remarkable moments. Then a runner to our hotel, one quick night-cap and off to bed with two luxurious days off ahead.

So long,


Richard Bennett