Jazz-but don’t talk

I can never think of jazz without remembering that character, Louis Balfour in the 90’s BBC comedy The Fast Show and his catchphrase-Jazz, nice!

I’ve always been puzzled by the lack of live music venues in Girona-any music. My theory is that many suitable places are too near to residential blocks so locals would complain-which they do quite readily.

Contrast that to when the city celebrates its week long city wide festival of St Narcis in late October. What a racket then. Street bands galore and the large open area next to Devesa Park called La Carpa becomes a giant youth club dominated by a nightly blast of live music till the early hours.

In our middle-aged case we opted to go to the small but cute Sunset Jazz bar in the old town. The Saturday night music was a tribute to Billy Holiday by an American singer whose name I forget. Great, we thought, a meal first and then some sounds. First we went for a mini supper where we waited too long for our food and maybe overdid it a bit with the local vino blanco.

On entering the Sunset club we had to stand by the bar as all the seats were taken. The dim interior and bum-numbing seating makes for what you’d expect of a Bohemian-style jazz joint.

The rendition of Billy Holiday songs was a token effort and far from what we’d imagined. We were enjoying our drinks engaged in quiet conversation when the barmaid gestured ‘shoosh’ at those of us sitting and standing around the bar. We duly obliged rolling our eyes upwards.

The music progressively derailed itself from its original intention. The singer blurted out some felicitations in Spanish, which probably didn’t go down too well with the fiercely proud Catalan audience.

The shooshing waitress continued to patrol the bar acting like a scolding headmistress. To the point where we’d had enough and left. She spoke to us in unintelligible Catalan-probably saying ‘you’re barred’.

We’ve never been back since.