Monday, June 12, 2023

On the Road with It was the Elf- Atalier, Fabrik Cultural Espaço, Coimbra, Portugal June 9th, 2023

The guys picked me up about 11 or so and we headed off towards Coimbra. Van is pretty small and crowded but the old Mazda does well. We stopped at a beautiful place on the Mondego River, near Penacova for a lunch break.  Guys were in a good mood, happy, having some smokes and talking…..

Mondego River

We arrived in Coimbra and found a parking place and just went to a cafe and chatted and had a few beers and then at 1630 drove over to the club, met the folks running it and loaded all the gear it. What a huge place. You can probably fill this with 5-600 people.  A nice wooden stage but the sound in this place was not good for hard rock-heavy metal…  

All was going smooth until 19 when a guy who holds a tango class was not told there was a show and insisted on doing his class so everything was on hold for an hr.. People just drank and smoked.  I was getting hungry so had to go get something as there would be no food before 2130!… 

Soundcheck was ok from 20 to 21 or so and then we walked 20mins up the hill to the top of Coimbra to an old college collective called Los Incas. What a really cool place.. They had just made spaghetti bolognese for the big group and there was wine and beer..  We were back about 2215 and some people were in the place now but we waited until 23 to play. Things are so late in Portugal.. 23 for the first band to play is crazy..  Cost was 6€.  Bands get 2€ each from the door. 

I played on the intro song for It was the Elf and then left the stage. They played about 7 or 8 songs, I think, quite a few from the latest album, Ancestors and older ones. Diogo is a great front man. He uses this quite harsh distortion on his voice which makes it quite intense. He also plays a bit of synth there and there.  They have a quite unique take on stoner rock. Super solid bass (Manu) and drums (ED) and then Vasco with interesting guitar parts, not just straight up stoner riffs.  Pity when he plays solos, he loses most of his volume so you could not hear any of them. I do not think any new ones. I joined them again for a jam at the end but it was so short. NO idea who stopped it or what but like 5mins??? Pity…..

Set List: Intro Synths, Rain, The Return Of The Bear, Black Caravan, The Mountains Elder, Sun, Parte Pulso, Red Hell Gold Fish, Dr. Space Jam

It was the Elf

SPITGOD, is a brother sister duo playing heavy sludge-death-doom stuff. Wow. Betina, the small petite drummer, she was so intense, wow.. never seen a female drummer play like that.  The crowd was really into it (about 50 people)..  They were really good at what they did but this type of music is nothing new but it allows the people to get their aggression out, which is good..  It was LOUD and harsh the sound..

Spitgod (from the soundcheck)

I was dying by the end of the set though as of these 60 people, I think 55 were smoking. Tobacco smoking is alive and well with the young people in Portugal.  Impressed…. It had been years since I had been to such a smokey place. I will never go back there.. 

It was about 1am when I got a ride back to the crash place. The other guys rolled in at 7 in the morning I am told.. Far out.. it was a fun trip….  I wish I could have gone to gig on the next day but it was another door deal, no food, no accommodation and they were going to all drive back at 3 in the morning after the gig, nearly 3hrs! I am too old to do these kind of gigs.