I came to Manu Chao annoyingly late.
Have you ever discovered the next best thing, only to realise everyone else discovered it, bought the upgrade and are now actually saving for version 3.0?
Thats what Manu Chao’s music was for me. Regardless, I fell head over heels in love. In the years when we were working and dreaming of a move to Barcelona, if I ever had a day when that dream seemed too distant I would put my head phones on and listen to him. Although I didn’t realise it then, the wild, happy, slightly lost, multilingual street music embodied everything I would come to love in Barcelona.
And yet, I’ve never seen the man in flesh. Not attended one single concert. Que es una mierda! That is shit.
Long story short, last night I found out the best place to hunt the fabled Manu Chao (Magda, my Word On The Street, is back!). Like the man and the music itself, I am probably the last person in the city to find out about this bar.
In the heart of Barrio Gotico, you will find the bar El Mariachi (on Calle del Codols). This bar is a favoured hangout for musicians in general and Manu Chao in particular. Come down to this bar and you might find impromptu jam sessions, musicians letting their hair down, and most importantly information about secret or illegal concerts. Concerts are mostly promoted through word-of-mouth and you can usually buy the tickets off someone in the bar.
But why am I bothering, you all knew this already didn’t you?
Here is a clip of Manu Chao jamming at El Mariachi
And here is one of my favourites, Beinvenida a Tijuana, Welcome to Tijuan: