Back in our university days, we were members of an elite group: the eight sharpers. Membership of this group depended on punctuality, arriving at International Hall’s bar as it opened. Setting the alarm on our Casio meant we were never thrown out of the group; although we can’t say the same about being ejected from the bar.
Gigs like clockwork
We’ve noticed that, regarding gigs at least, they’re also a stickler for being on time in Gran Canaria. We recall pitching up slightly late to a Good Company gig at CICCA and sweating whether they’d let us in or not. They did, but only when the band had finished one of their prog-rock-length numbers.
Running on time
So we were fairly legging it, pegging it, through the streets of Vegueta. To reach a venue we’d been to before, but for art not music. We were sweating, and by end of his promptly-started first number, so was Fermin Romero. So much so, that he removed his smart blue blazer to reveal a plain white T-shirt underneath. As the stage lights illuminated a moustache of perspiration on Fermin Romero’s upper lip.
Fermin Romero, the melody of rock
Having shamefully not listened to the back catalogue of a celebrated Canarian singer stretching back 20 years, we nonetheless saw some of our musical heroes up on stage in Fermin Romero. There was the intensity of Elvis Costello, the quirkiness of Jonathan Richman, and the forthright blokeyness of Billy Bragg. Romero surfed genres, one minute coming on as a experimental jazz singer, Mar de Palabras (Sea of Words); the next an earnest busker, Te Fuiste (You Left).
Disclaimer: We received a press pass in order to take photos and videos. Although the €5 entry fee looked a steal. For a 90-minute set which saw Romero play songs new and old.