Upon arriving for our last show of tour in Zarautz in the Basque Country a couple of weeks ago, our band was tired, kinda sick and frazzled. After playing close to 30 something shows, mostly in a row with only 2 days off, it's a little hard to feel excited about another punk show.....but we were and the Basque punks did not disappoint. Our host Juanma told us that the venue would have dinner ready for us in a few minutes, but if we ate then, we would miss the first band and something about his tone helped convince me that we would be making a huge mistake by doing that. (sidenote for punks from the states: If you've never toured Europe, every venue, every squat feeds you dinner before your show and this simple act makes such a huge difference in the day to day brain decay of tour. The US could learn a thing or 5 from punks there) So, we held off on dinner and I'm glad we did. When ARROTZAK played their first song, something was off. It didn't feel right. I was starting to doubt Juanma, but the members of the band adjusted the amps, moved a drum or two and -- BAM -- way better! They played the kind of punk that I'm sick of describing...the kind of punk that you can't make sound good on paper (or a screen) but still sounds so good when it's done right in front of you. Melodic and gutsy and wonderful.
When they finished their set, our band ran upstairs to scarf our food and get back into the show before MANAGAITZ played their first song, who were also great.
This ARROTZAK tape is a couple of years old and features a different singer (and maybe even a different drummer). The live set was better, even though this tape is great but I hope they record some newer stuff soon.
Yes, someone made matchbooks for our show.