Sidetracks & Detours present PASS IT ON 46 Sunday Weekly Supplement 31 3 2024

Sidetracks & Detours



 Sunday Weekly Supplement 31 3 2024

Hello, and welcome to our sunshiny, blue-skied island.
Except, it isn´t at the moment.  Instead the clouds are heavy and grey, the seas are rough and stay at home messages are being played on the radio and tv all the time. We missed a music gig and an art exhibition last week due to cancelations of the gig as the concert hall had to be closed because of the weather. We tried hard to reach the art exhibition last Sunday but we were turned back by severe rainfall, as the roads here don´t absorb the water,… and I was just getting the hang of driving on water. There are just as many weather warnings this week except even more severe. Hopefully, though there will not be any further cancellations this week. Anyway, none of this is anything for you to worry about, as our intrepid reporters braved the storm and filed news items to our daily not for profit blog at Sidetracks And Detours. And, as you will see they have even managed to fill our PASS IT ON supplement today. So, unless the weather is much better wherever else in the world you are, you could maybe take this opportunity to settle on the sofa with something good to read.




with Alfred Michael

Live Jazz at Progress

March 2024 news from Jazz In Reading

Arbenz + Hart + Pursglove = CONVERSATION

Jim Hart vibraphone, percussion

Florian Arbenz drums, percussion

Percy Pursglove trumpet/flugelhorn

review by Trevor Bannister

Jazz In April


Remembered Music


A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward

ERIC TAYLOR introduced by Peter Pearson

Island Insights from Norman Warwick



with Alfred Michael

A new festival will bring music, dance and art to Mossley over the Easter holidays – and it’s completely free.

What first caught my eye when I trained my telescope from here all the way back down to earth.

The family-friendly event, titled ‘Spring Up!’, is set to take over The Vale and Mossley Heritage Centre on Saturday, April 6.

It will begin as a playful puppet troupe (left) lead the way along the ‘Goose’s Gander Heritage Trail’ between The Vale, off Micklehurst Road and Mossley Heritage Centre in Longlands Mill.

Activities throughout the day at The Vale include a family ceilidh with a twist, stories and music from Malawi-born performer Marco Woolf, and a Pagode taster session that will see dance enthusiasts try the Brazilian musical style.

There will also be drop-in art workshops, drumming sessions and live music from  indie-folk star Coruja Jones, singer songwriter Tiki Black and Carol Jason.

Sierra Leone-born folk guitarist Papa Sam Alafia and Electric Mike aka Mossley’s own Mike Mellor complete the line-up.

Cakes, treats and hot drinks will be available from George’s Deli, as well as pizza from Pizza Love. The Vale’s bar will be open in the afternoon serving local Millstone ales, as well as beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks.

Meanwhile, at Mossley Heritage Centre, exhibitions about mill heritage and weaving workshops are among the attractions.

Amelia Bayliss, general manager, The Vale, said: “Spring Up! is a free community celebration of the arrival of the new season, which is full of hope and promise.

“It is also a celebration of our local and global heritage, in partnership with Mossley Heritage Centre.

“The day is the culmination of  ‘Trails to the Vale’ – an Action Together-funded project that is focused on getting local people walking and moving more and reducing the reliance on car use for short journeys.

“Come and celebrate the arrival of Spring, try out some new activities, pause to think about the past and future and get moving at Spring Up”

Live Jazz at Progress

March 2024

news from Jazz In Reading

Arbenz + Hart + Pursglove = CONVERSATION

Jim Hart vibraphone, percussion

Florian Arbenz drums, percussion

Percy Pursglove trumpet/flugelhorn

review by Trevor Bannister of Jazz In Reading

Listening to Arbenz + Hart + Pursglove = Conversation, (left) in the intimate surrounds of the Progress Theatre on 22 March, was a totally enthralling experience. I sat in awe as three of the most creative musicians on the European Contemporary Jazz scene worked their magic across two forty-five-minute sets.

The music flowed in a cascade of invention, finding its own course in the interplay between the musicians and sweeping me along in its wake. As the group’s publicity proclaimed, ‘This is truly music of the moment’. Its sophistication placed it in a world apart from the origins of jazz in the street parades of early 20th Century New Orleans, but it brings that spirit alive to a new generation in the sheer joy of collective music making. 

Individually, the musicians were at the top of their game. Florian Arbenz, a very welcome guest from Basel in Switzerland, is a restless drummer, able to draw a vast range of subtle rhythms and tonal colours from his drums and cymbals (or more accurately a kit borrowed for the evening from Jazz in Reading’s Jim Wade). Somewhere, tucked away from the gaze of the audience he had a tiny percussion device to create intriguing bass notes. If there is such a thing as a ‘drum landscape’, Arbenz used it to tremendous effect to set the scene for the opening title, Evolution/ Winter and all that followed.

British born vibraphonist and percussionist, Jim Hart, is now a close neighbour to Arbenz on the Continent and like Arbenz, is a composer of great originality. Throughout the evening, he constantly switched deftly to-and-fro between his collection of percussion instruments and dazzling four-mallet forays on the vibes.

The ensemble was completed by the multi-instrumentalist and composer, Percy Pursglove, who Progress regulars will remember from a memorable appearance as bassist/trumpeter with Andy Sheppard a few years ago. Among his many roles as a freelance musician, Pursglove is a member of the famous NDR Big Band in Hamburg. On this occasion, he formed what MC Bob Draper described as the ‘brass section’, performing eloquently and with a beautiful purity of tone on trumpet and flugelhorn.

The momentum established in Evolution/Winter Still, continued in the good humour of Jammin’ at the Children’s Corner. Pursglove’s plaintive trumpet emerged from the ensemble on the Old Showman, in a style reminiscent of Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain. Its emotional impact lifted the hairs on the back of my neck. Imperceptibly, the temperature cooled, the smooth lines of the music became more jagged and the first set concluded with Angular Momentum. Was it my imagination or did I catch a fleeting reference to ‘Night in Tunisia’ in Jim Hart’s vibes?

The Exchange, an apt title from the pen of Jim Hart, opened the second set in lively fashion as a torrent of ideas sped across the stage between the musicians. Pursglove’s own composition Fluxy Wuxy served as a prelude to a heart wrenchingly beautiful interpretation of Hoagy Carmichael’s classic ballad, Skylark – as fine an example of collective ensemble playing as you will ever come across.

The evening came full circle with the spotlight falling once more on Florian Arbenz. His drums set in motion a celebration of time spent in Cuba – not in academic study as he was supposed to be doing but absorbing the vivid colours and rhythms of Cuban culture from its streets. Rhumba Celebration simply oozed with life-affirming energy and brought a brilliant concert to a spectacular close. It will be a ‘conversation’ piece for years to come.

Arbenz + Hart + Pursglove = Conversation, (right) were very welcome guests at Progress and we are delighted that they left Reading with a warm regard for the UK provincial jazz scene. Florian remarked to the effect that, while we might lack the financial support available to our continental neighbours, we more than make up for it with our energy, commitment and love of the music. Long may it continue!

As ever, thank you to the Progress Front Of House team for their hospitality and to Rich Saunders for the excellent quality of sound and lighting.

© Trevor Bannister

Live Jazz


by Rob Adam

April marks a special celebration. It’s ten years since saxophonist Martin Kershaw and guitarist Graeme Stephen took playing opportunities into their own hands.

Inviting bassist Mario Caribe and drummer Tom Bancroft to join them, they formed Playtime, which began with weekly sessions in the Outhouse’s loft in Edinburgh. Dozens of gigs followed – including a remarkable number of tributes to pianists for a quartet with no piano – and an amazing range of jazz styles have been celebrated. Now fortnightly, Playtime’s adventures have become an integral part of Scotland’s jazz life.  They celebrate the anniversary on Thursday 4th.

Bassist Ali Watson is becoming a go-to presence on the Scottish scene having returned from his studies at the Guildhall in London. He works regularly with a number of bands and is currently making his first recording with the quartet he brings to Merchants House in Glasgow on Sunday 7th. Joining him in a group that draws influences from Scottish folk music and classical impressionism are pianist Alan Benzie, drummer Greg Irons and saxophonist Matt Carmichael.

Alto saxophonist Laura Macdonald has been a significant figure on the international scene over the past thirty years, playing with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, leading bands including saxophonist Donny McCaslin and drummer Antonio Sanchez (now better known for associations with David Bowie and Pat Metheny respectively) and recording with New York players including pianist David Berkman and drummer Jeff Tain Watts. Laura plays in a duo with the outstanding pianist Zoe Rahman at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh on Monday 8th. She then leads her all-star quartet at the Glad Cafe in Glasgow on Tuesday 9th and guests with Playtime on Thursday 18th

Big-toned tenor saxophonist John Burgess is the latest guest of Red Door in Linlithgow. John’s experiences include studies with the great tenorist Joe Henderson, gigs in all styles of jazz, from New Orleans to free, and a series of recordings that showcase his mastery of the standards, ballads and blues repertoire he’ll be playing in the intimate St Peter’s Church on Friday 19th. He’s joined on keyboards by Campbell Normand, a player with a deep knowledge of jazz classics, in what promises to be an entertaining as well as a musically enriching evening.

Kirkcudbrightshire isn’t over-supplied with jazz concerts but it’s getting a classy one on Saturday 20th when saxophonist Brian Molley takes his quartet to Jazz at the Rock in Rockcliffe, near Dalbeattie. Joining Brian are long-time partner, Tom Gibbs on keys, bassist David Bowden and drummer Doug Hough. They’ll be playing music from Brian’s albums, including Modern Traditions, which have enjoyed acclaim in the US, Australasia and Europe as well as here in the UK. 

The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra has nurtured over 120 young jazz musicians since its formation in 2002, many of them going on to national and international recognition. The class of 2024 continues a tradition for skill and exuberance in playing music by the masters, including Miles, Duke, Dizzy and more, and brings the fire to Glasgow on Saturday 27th and Birnam on Sunday 28th.

Looking ahead to May, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra reunites with Japanese piano virtuoso Makoto Ozone to play an extended orchestration of George Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue. There’s a career milestone here as, for the first time, they combine with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. They play in Edinburgh on Friday 3rd and Glasgow on Saturday 4th, during the first halves of concerts that include Ellington, Strayhorn and Bernstein pieces, before playing a full SNJO-Ozone concert, with Corea, Zawinul and Burns numbers added, in Aberdeen on Sunday 5th.

Jazz in April

Blue Lamp
Sun 7: Mary May Band & Manray (2pm)
Thu 11: Nye Banfield Qrt
Thu 18: The Jazz Defenders
Thu 27: Marianne McGregor

Birnam Arts
Sun 28: Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra (2pm)

Baron’s Craig, Rockcliffe
Sat 20: Brian Molley Qrt

Jazz Bar
Jazz every night
Wed 10: Nye Banfield Qrt

Thu 4: Playtime 10th Anniversary Concert
Thu 18: Playtime with Laura Macdonald

Queen’s Hall
Fri 19: Fergus McCreadie Trio
Mon 29: Down for the Count: A Century of Swing

Mon 8: Laura Macdonald & Zoe Rahman/Ben Shankland Trio

Sun 28: Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra (2pm)

Glad Cafe
Tue 9: Laura Macdonald Qrt

Merchants House
Sun 7: Ali Watson Qrt

St Peter’s Church
Fri 19: John Burgess with Campbell Normand

606 Club
Mon 1: Sophie Alloway 
Thu 4: Tomorrow’s New Quartet (feat Helena Kay)
Sat 6: Dave O’Higgins
Sun 7: Gareth Lockrane Big Band (1:30pm)
Mon 8: Krisztian Olah Qrt (feat Paul Booth)
Wed 17: Kate Williams Qrt
Thu 18: John Crawford
Wed 24: Jo Fooks
Tue 30 – Thu 2 May: Stacey Brothers

Ronnie Scott’s
Tue 2: Big Band Metheny
Sat 6: Joe Chambers Qnt
Sun 7: Carol Grimes
Tue 9: Espen Berg Trio
Wed 10: Soft Machine
Sat 13: Rachel Z (feat Omar Hakim)
Fri 19: Binker Golding
Wed 24 – Sat 27: Kyle Eastwood
Sun 28: Pete Long-Ryan Quigley Qnt

As always, this list isn’t intended to be comprehensive; other gigs are available.

Remembered Music


“On the Street Where You Live” is a song with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner from the 1956 Broadway musical My Fair Lady. It is sung in the musical by the character Freddy Eynsford-Hill, who was portrayed by John Michael King in the original production. In the 1964 film version, it was sung by Bill Shirley, dubbing for actor Jeremy Brett.

The most popular single of the song was recorded by Vic Damone (left)  in 1956 for Columbia Records. It reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart and No. 6 on Cashbox magazine’s chart. It was a No. 1 hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1958. Eddie Fisher also had a top 20 Billboard hit with the song in 1956, reaching No. 18. Lawrence Welk and His Orchestra released a version that went to No. 96 in 1956.  Andy Williams‘ recording appeared in the Billboard top 40 in 1964, reaching No. 3 on the adult contemporary chart and No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song has been recorded by a wide variety of other performers, including Ray Conniff and Bing Crosby, who recorded the song in 1956 for use on his radio show and it was subsequently included in the boxed set The Bing Crosby CBS Radio Recordings (1954–56) issued by Mosaic Records (catalog MD7-245) in 2009, Lawrence Welk (whose band also performed it on his weekly TV series numerous times).

Other artists to record the song include  

Shirley HornDoris DayGeorge ShearingFrank ChacksfieldAlfie BoeBobby DarinDean MartinMario LanzaNat King ColeHolly ColeMarvin GayeBen E. KingPerry ComoRay ReachHarry Connick Jr.Gene PitneyThe Miracles (on their I’ll Try Something New album), Earl GrantDennis DeYoungQuincy JonesDavid Whitfield (shown right, is perhaps my favourite singer of all time, Sometimes I actually see him occasionally out walking, and I tell him every time that ´it´s strange to be walking on the street where you live!), Nancy WilsonBilly PorterIlse HuizingaMatt DuskRichard ClaydermanRicki Lee JonesMr Hudson & The LibraryPeggy LeeVocal SpectrumSteve Hogarth from Marillion, Bill FrisellAndré Previn & Shelly ManneBryn TerfelEd TownsendChet BakerJason ManfordRonnie HiltonWillie NelsonEtta Jones, and Eddie Fisher.

Not everybody that travels up this way manages to get in through the gates, of course, but many of those who do gain entry often have some sort of story about this song, and I am always pleased to hear the song is still played on the wireless, and that people down there still seem to enjoy it.

I´ve heard that in the Dick Van Dyke Show S3.E5 While Rob and Laura are mad at their neighbours the Helpers, they play charades and after acting out things like ‘walking all over people’ and ‘back-stabbing’ the answer is revealed to be “On The Street Where You Live”

In 1991, on the children’s show Sesame StreetOscar the Grouch (left), completely fed up with all the nice people around him on Sesame Street, (I know how he feels, it´s a bit like that up here) but still very grateful for his trash can, sang a song called “On This Street Where I’m Grouchy”, which spoofed “On the Street Where You Live”.

In the 1999 film Blast from the Past, Adam (Brendan Fraser) sings part of this song to Eve (Alicia Silverstone) and explains that he doesn’t want woman as he can only think about her.

The song plays during the opening credits of the television adaptation of 15 Storeys High in episodes one and six of the first series.

The song is also featured in the television series Mad Men in the finale of the first season’s first episode.

In the seventh season of the television show, Frasier, it is played by the orchestra after the Crane brothers ‘resolve’ their conflict at a dance in the episode, “Rivals”.

In the ninth episode of the third season of Better Things, actors sing the song in a bar after completing a table read of a fictional Broadway play.

If this is the kind of music you love then when I get reincarnated out of here, I might just come and live ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE.

A Reader´s Perspective: All Points Forward

ERIC TAYLOR introduced by Peter Pearson

Eric Taylor (left) (1949-2020) was a USA singer songwriter born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

He has been called a lyrical genius and master of guitar. Nanci Griffith has referred to him as the William Faulkner of songwriting. As a lover of his music and having seen him many times live in concert in the UK, I can testify to that.

Eric Taylor was a legend of the Houston folk music scene, bridging the generation of Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark with the later generation of Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Vince Bell and Steve Earle.

He toured extensively both in the USA and Europe, normally solo acoustic or, in the States, with a female harmony vocalist; initially Denice Franke or later, his wife Susan Lindfors.

After buying his first guitar at age 13 he played bass in a number of amateur groups known as garage bands (because they often practiced in garages). His main interest at that time was the rhythm and blues and soul music popular in Georgia.

His love of poetry allied to mastering guitar meant that songwriting became a natural progression and he wrote his first song whilst playing with the band on the college circuit.

After high school, a brief stint at Georgetown University in Washington, DC didn’t work out. Music lured him away and he attempted to make his way to California but ran out of money and ended up in Houston.

Part-time jobs helped to make ends meet but more importantly in Houston he witnessed performances by musicians such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb and Mississippi Fred McDowell, from whom he learned his blues guitar stylings, whilst he was also influenced by local singer songwriter favourites, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt.

Over the next 10 years Eric honed his guitar and song writing skills within the Houston songwriting community, developing his own unique guitar picking style which became his trademark.

In 1977 Taylor won the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival Emerging Songwriters Contest and made his first contact with another emerging artist, Nanci Griffith. They became musical partners and later married. Eric’s song Dollar Matinee featured on Nanci’s first album and she was later to cover several more.

Following their divorce in 1982 they remained good friends and in 2000 Nanci wrote a song dedicated to Eric titled “Traveling Through This Part of You” for her Clock Without Hands album. The song refers to Eric’s time serving in the Vietnam War.

One of the regular venues that Taylor and Griffith played together during this period, was the listening room on the Texas A & M University campus at College Station. The booker was an Journalism-German major called Lyle Lovett. One of his flatmates, was Robert Earl Keen Jr. The spare-time pursuits of both students included, playing music and writing songs. Lovett and Taylor struck up, a close and lasting friendship. Whenever Eric undertook solo gigs, Lyle regularly appeared as his opening act. Our photo (right) shows Eric Taylor, centre stage, between Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett.

In 1981 Eric released his first album, Shameless Love. Nanci Griffith sang backing vocals on some tracks and the title track was covered by English folk singer, June Tabor.

Owing to personal and alcohol related problems it was another 14 years before his second album. It was at this time that he came to my attention when in 1995 he released his self titled album on Watermelon records and toured the the UK behind it. I had been visiting Upstairs at The Adelphi in Preston to see the likes of Chip Taylor and Tom Russell and Eric’s album was part of the pre-show playlist. I had heard of him before but was knocked out by the album. Every track is a gem. There are no fillers. The opening track is Dean Moriarty and how’s this for an opening line:” Dean Moriarty don’t live here no more, He’s off in California, works in a liquor store.” Eric then goes on to narrate a story in song using Kerouac’s On The Road fictional character. The album is perhaps his finest and most accessible work.

Eric was booked to appear at The Adelphi later in the year and I went to see him. It was the first in a long line of almost annual visits that Eric made to Europe and the UK over the next 20 years.

His onstage presence was unlike any other that I have seen. Tall with a somewhat gruff exterior, some people might be put off from engaging with him but in truth he was a gentle soul, ever ready to engage in conversation with early arrivals to his gigs. Many is the time I have sat round a table with him as part of a group when he would regale you with all sorts of stories.

His story telling extended to the stage. He would tell these long stories that sometimes would, and other times wouldn’t, seem to relate to the song he would play. Often it would be weeks, months, years later that you would somehow put together the story to the song in some sort of retroactive ah-ha moment. The stories were weird. He often went on about the actor Sterling Hayden; (who talks about him?) and filled with mighty silences during which he would either seem to be on the verge of tears or breaking into that wicked grin of his, or both.

Later on I would see David Olney another USA singer songwriter who had a similar theatrical bent. The connection became clear when in later years Eric mentioned that he had established the Texas Song Theater.

The Texas Song Theater is song and spoken word that is brought to the stage by three performing songwriters working together as a play of voices, imagery, and emotion. The three songwriters were Eric, Denice Franke and David Olney.

In Eric’s own words this is how he describes its conception:

“The first time I saw Lightnin’ Hopkins do a live version of Black Cadillac, he performed a spoken word piece, a story that went along with the playing of the song. I felt like I knew where he was going. I was going with him and it wasn’t by his invitation. He was taking me there. There was the song and there was the theater. To some degree, I’ve worked spoken word into my songs since that day, but I seem to do it with more conscious effort these days because I just enjoy the performance piece so much.”

The performance is best explained by this extract from a review:

“When Olney started talk/singing about the road towards Nashville and suddenly Franke adds her voice over his and Taylor comes under them with words and music about God only knows what dusty trip from Montgomery to Memphis, a gasp from the crowd could be heard from front row to hallway. It was the ultimate real deal.”

In later years a mutual acquaintance of Norman and mine, Stuart Warburton, a Bury based part time singer songwriter would promote Eric’s UK gigs and even accompany him to his European gigs. Eric was particularly popular in Holland.

He has released ten albums, the last five on his own label, Blue Ruby Records and toured extensively right up to the year of his death.

His 2011 album, Live At Red Shack, is a live best of, with guest performances from Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Denice Franke and Eric’s wife, manager and fellow musician, Susan Lindfors. The Red Shack is an intimate Houston recording studio owned by Eric’s friend, Rock Romano. The sound quality is crystal clear and vocal performances top notch.

His 2013 album, Studio 10, features a cover version of Tim Grimm’s brilliant song, Cover These Bones. It also features a song about fellow singer songwriter Bill Morrissey, who had recently died from heart disease exacerbated by alcoholism. Bill was a life long friend of Eric’s  and the pair often toured together. The song relates how Bill, as the demon drink started to consume him, would remember each town they visited by its liquor store: “I’ve been down this town before its got a four way stop and a liquor store.”

The excellent late Peter Cooper with Taylor, (shown above) released a complete album of Eric’s songs, in tribute to his friend.  Depot Light-The Songs of Eric Taylor, was issued in  2015.and copies are available via Amazon.

Thanks, Peter,  for an article that looks likely to see me increase my awareness of Taylor´s music, and that I know already will force me to revise several playlists. I note that on the album is a quite remarkable song, Louis Armstrong´s Broken Heart,

Island Insights from Norman Warwick


When I was very young and living in England, where the story I am about to tell has more relevance, I learned a saying that not only bred an attitude to life but also improved my spelling.

Whether the weather is hot,

or whether the weather is not

I will whether the weather

whatever the weather

whether the weather is hot

or whether the weather is not

With our tiny island issuing a severe weather warning this weekend and postponing all planned outdoor events, and even indoor performances, such as the concert we had planned to see on  Friday evening, the Yaiza Municipal Band was also called off.

Still, if the weather had settled by Sunday we could take a soothing stroll around a beautiful home / art gallery in Orzola in the north of Lanzarote.

These occasional openings of her home / gallery by Claudie, a busy and influential artist, are always calm and civilised events allowing you to browse the eclectic arts described on our poster image.

Claudie is a gracious hostess offering a glass of cava as you wander round the various rooms. She never intrudes but is always delighted to explain how and why a particular piece came about or to generally discuss with her guests the state of the arts today.

We have visited several times and now have several Claudie pieces in our home, from paintings to photographs to fridge magnets of unique style, and many examples of found objects sometimes known as the French ‘objet trouve’, an object which is retrieved or bought by an artist for its intriguing or aesthetic properties. Some artists have transformed found objects into works of art, while others have derived inspiration from collected items.

Visitors are often amazed by Claudie´s keen eye and creativity and the vision that turns broken pieces of wood into works of art.

Both Claudie herself, and her creations are willing to engage and to take their place in the real world and her wonderful works are affordable and accessible.

This was the last exhibition of the current season. She will re-commence her invitations to her arts in the summer and I have no doubt there will be new additions on display.

When it came to ´Sunday Morning Coming Down´ our home town of Playa Blanca at the very south of the island was shadowed and chilly despite being under the duvet  of a low, heavy black cloud that stretched as far as we could see but at nine thirty it had not yet brought the thunder and lightning, very heavy rain and high winds that the weather warning had threatened so we set off for Orzola in the hope of spending a couple of hours with Claudie and her friends, stopping for a meal on the way back home and getting home in time to unload whatever arts purchases we had made at the gallery, and getting them safely into the house, and Lord, ¨Let It Rain, Let It Rain, Let It Rain.

However, the black cloud seemed to be descending even lower and growing ever more dense, as you can see from our photo, (left ).

As we headed through Macher the wind was increasing and speed quicker than we were slowing down and we passed a car that had over-turned  was laying on its roof some twenty yards away on the rocky roadside. Police and emergency services were in attendance but we later learned this had been a fatal incident in which the driver had died.

We grimly soldiered on but just as we arrived in Arietta the cloud seemed to be resting on the shoulders of the ghost of the wind toy installation created by Manrique and its all-moving parts were dancing up a storm. As if it were some sort of mystical rain dance the heavens opened and huge rapid-fire raindrops were instantly blurring our vision. Aware that the next and final leg of our journey to Claudie´s meant following a road close to the shoreline, we imagined high waves coming in and even stronger winds, and so did a full turn at the roundabout and headed back home.

On our return journey it seemed that whole island was under deluge. It looked as if Las Breñas had been devoured by this monstrous cloud and the road up Femes from the camel roundabout had become almost invisible. Rain water and pebbles and stones were rolling downhill in front of us, and then heading back towards us as we drove uphill. On the so-called flat stretches of the LZ2 there was standing water everywhere and even as we arrived back in Playa Blanca conditions were far too horrid to consider parking and going for a meal so instead we drove the final mile home and as we pulled up into our parking spot, the rain stopped, the wind died and up above was a beautiful blue sky and a hot sun.

Once back in the house we texted Claudie to explain that we had tried to reach her, but the weather had forced us back, and we were sorry we wouldn´t see her for a further few weeks yet. Her cheery reply said she had several visitors there already and the weather in Orzola had been beautiful all morning !!

There is always consolation here on Lanzarote as the arts calendar is so jam-packed with interesting events. That means that next week, God willing and The Creek Don´t Rise, we will be able to bring you a review for our next concert.

We will be seeing a piano and two-violins recital of Bach music played by a trio made up of Javier Diaz at the piano and the two violinists Diego Bermudez, who we reviewed on these pages last week as part of a Bach Family collation and a the brilliant Iya Zhmaeva, about whom we have written several times on these pages over the years.

Iya is a beautiful player who also employs those skills to raise money for good causes.

The concert is at El Fondeadero, and we usually take the water taxi over the sea from Puerto Calero to Puerto del Carmen  as part of the concert experience. You can be sure we will be listening to the weather forecast before we set off.

However, as Paul Simon said in  his lyric to The Only Living Boy In New York,–

Ï get the news I need on the weather report

and today´s headline, courtesy of Lancelot Digital proclaimed in bold type



It is expected that waves might reach up to six meters high in some areas around the coastline and rain and winds are also expected to be strong throughout the days of Holy Week.

This could shatter the tranquillity of those enjoying their Easter holidays on Lanzarote, since the General Directorate of Emergencies has declared an alert for coastal phenomena on the island, based on the AEMET prediction.

Even more importantly, of course, is that we who follow sidetracks  and detours looking to find arts news, so we can PASS IT ON, might find our journeys are somewhat more than a gentle stroll.

The entire archipelago will continue with cloudy intervals and weak rains, which will be more likely from Holy Thursday in the afternoon due to the passage of an Atlantic front.

As for temperatures, there will not be major changes and during Easter there will be maximum temperatures of 22 degrees and minimum temperatures of 15 degrees.

The strength of the wind will also be moderate and its direction gusty during the four days.

According to the AEMET, this situation of weak showers and strong waves will continue until Easter Sunday to find normal climatic conditions on the island at the beginning of the month of April. The advice form the authorities is firmly stated and quite strict. Advice includes:

We should protect our homes against the possible invasion of sea water, and should not stand at the end of docks or breakwaters, nor risk taking photographs or videos near where the waves break. We should also avoid fishing in risk areas.

We are advised  not to drive vehicles on roads near the beach line, and certainly not to swim on secluded beaches or ones we don’t know well enough about, because there may be local whirlpools. Of course we should avoid bathing on red flag beaches, in areas where there are strong waves and surf or that lack surveillance and rescue services.

We should avoid sports and nautical practices in areas affected by swells and should  not camp on the beach when there is a storm warning.

Those who own a boat, (hundreds of fishing boats line the coast),  should try to secure its mooring in a sheltered place.

Anyone noticing some unusual waves, should not stay near the sea, nor go near it even if it suddenly calms down and if we see people in dangerous places, warn them of the danger !

I am not a swimmer, nor am I a fisherman and at 71 now I am no longer the great footballer I once thought I was, so I´m hoping none of the above applies to me, as I am these days just a freelance journalist just looking for a gig.


Come Hell Or High Water I will find something to review for next week´s column, but

Lord Almighty, Land Of Goshen,

There´s a storm out on the ocean,

So don´t you dare take that boat out to sea !

© Guy Clark (right)

Just before you go, may we remind you of the stories waiting out there down the sidetracks and detours to be collected by us. Our not for profit blogs are posted daily from Monday to Friday and are free to our readers. This week´s stories include an explanation of why listening to Loretta Lyn was like looking at country. We will also describe a belt brought home by a boxer on Lanzarote and hear echoes of fighting talk from the man I consider to be Britain´s finest ever song-writer. We will also recall a meeting with the fabulous and very humble Mary Chapin Carpenter and delight in the children´s books she is now producing by extrapolating them from her songs on her albums. It sounds to me like another great week. So you might like to share our details with your like.minded, arts loving friends. You will? Thanks.

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