Bands Rock But Arona Doesn’t Roll Out The Welcome Carpet

Six vibrant Tenerife rock bands, a seafront stage in Los Cristianos and a total lack of advance publicity added up to a great night for those present but another missed opportunity to promote a different side of Arona culture. To be fair it wasn’t just the Rock And Roll Una Noche En Verano that was left to its own devices, the whole Virgen del Carmen celebrations were a hit and miss affair.

Back to the music and I arrived just in time to hear the last number from the first band, a young group (didn’t catch their name) that sounded good but a bit lacking in polish. The small stage at the back of the Plaza del Peascadora often hosts music and while the shade of the trees gives it a nice intimate feel, it does help to hide the performers a little from those walking along the promenade or just coming off the beach. Some of the bikers from the afternoons rally were still dishing out paella and the last remains of their beer and the early evening sun attracted a small crowd of the curious of various ages. Los Positivos (above) were not on the original listing but burst onto stage with power and passion and launched into some classics like Route 66 and the Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant. There were quite a few young rockers near the stage with suitable dark t shirts bearing the names of grunge and metal bands. As I mingled on the edge of the plaza I met a young lady chasing a strutting cockerel (I will resist the 1001 obvious cock jokes) the rock chick caught her pet and explained to me that its name was Nirvana.

Los Positivos charged the crowd and the lead singer added a touch of theatre by donning a hot looking demonic mask. It wasn’t the only change as the bass player arrived late and strolled on stage with his cased guitar slung over his shoulder, of course we gave him some good natured stick. The smoke was pumping from the stage and the masked singer was writhing on the ground in between leading impressive covers of Bowie’s Suffragete City and then a repeat of Route 66 and Pretty Vacant before an encore of Wild Thing. In the day the plaza is a popular resting place for some older members of the community and I was stunned to see that a little old lady sat on a bench just away from the stage for the entire evening, maybe she was deaf?

The next group up was Momento Beat, I listened to the first two numbers from them but they were a lot less manic and lost the attention of the small but select audience. With the sun setting slowly I had a wander to see what else was going on, the church was holding a religious ceremony for the Virgen with the doors open onto the plaza where rows of attentive worshippers were paying homage. Heading back the other way around by the fishermans moorings there was more music, this time from a couple of fishing boats that were hosting picnics as they were being decked out for Sundays trip out to sea for the Virgen, neither event had been pushed through the local Canarian media.

Back to the stage and the next performers were up and ready. Mr Day Tripper (above) got some of the momento back with some obscure English language rock from recent years, my learned friend Bob identified songs from Wolfmother, and The Subways, both unknown to me. A lot of the passing listeners had passed by leaving a hard core fuelled by cheap beer from the local supermarket. Some local regulars tried to cash in on the gathering, a few Chinese with the inevitable sky rockets and trinkets and even a clown bending ballons into swords and hats whilst slipping in the odd bit of fancy footwork in time to the music.

Mr Day Tripper were pulling out the stops with red smoke casting them in eerie shadows and they stoked up what fire was left in the “tired” onlookers. As they took their final bow I felt the pull of the pub, I was in two minds about staying for the final two bands especially grunge band No More Carrots but felt I had done my bit. Hopefully more music will pass this way and a concerted publicity effort might even see a crowd more fitting to the talent on show and the effort put in to run the event.