…for some, inexplicable, reason trousers figured highly in my festival visit this year and not just those swapped in ‘Reversible‘.
Whether it was the booted set spotted two-thirds of the way up a palm tree in the Alcazar gardens ( see not-very-clear photograph left of man cutting back palm fronds ) or those worn by a fellow festival goer who seemed to attend all the same concerts as we did, trousers have featured.
This festival-going silver-haired gentlemen had a very nice line in trews, from purple through magenta to powder pink and a sub-set of our anticipation for the next concert was whether or not he would be there and, if he was, what colour trousers he would be wearing. Just one of those daft things which people light upon….. If, by any chance, he reads this article, thank you Sir, your stylish sartorial enterprise gave us an added motif and minutes of innocent amusement. I hope that you don’t mind.
I don’t know what nationality he was, but I have heard more languages spoken this year than ever before. Lots of French and German, some Italian and some Dutch. More Japanese than before, in my experience and, according to a bar owner we know, Chinese too. The festival has always been an international event, but it seems to be getting even more so, yet I would say that at least half the audiences are still Spanish – many from Jerez. That’s a good thing.
Now it’s over for another year. The twentieth anniversary edition has been better than ever. Exactly how the organisers plan to top this next year I do not know. Using the additional, historic venues was a master stroke and I hope that the Convento, the Bodegas, the Alcazar and the Claustros are used again, they are such beautiful and resonant settings. I fear that the Gallery at Bodega El Tradicion ( a sherry house which makes, very, high-end sherry and brandy ) may not host another event. I did not attend that performance, but a friend who did, told me that audience members were leaning against some of the, priceless, fifteenth century paintings, in an effort to see what was afoot. Oops.
The street art too was excellent and genuinely surprising, the exhibitions were interesting. The food and wine were, as ever, of first-rate quality ( but I’ve never seen these restaurants open so early ).
My two regrets are that I didn’t get to a performance at the Palacio Villavicencia this year, that is such a lovely venue, and that I missed the performance in La Concha, Eiffel’s bodega building. My neighbour has been singing the praises of Sara Barras, who I also missed. The flamenco goes on, in the bars and the penas, flamenco can always be found in Jerez. Now in London too. Ronnie Scott’s in Soho does flamenco on Sundays, once a month. If I want a fix, that’s where I will go.
And of course, there’s always next year.
If you enjoyed reading this article you may enjoy the others found in the links further up this page, or you might like Playing Air Guitar