Grevel Lindop

Poet, biographer, critic, essayist and writer on just about everything

UNTIL WE CAN TRAVEL AGAIN…

I’m delighted to announce that The Book Mill, an excellent Northern publisher, has just published a new edition of Travels on the Dance Floor – my story of adventures pursuing dance in Latin America. It was a delight to write and a chance to share the adventures I had not only with dance and music but with magicians and poets, crooked cops and hustlers in seven countries!

Picture

Right now travel is difficult – so maybe this is a time to dream and imagine, and get the feel of what life, music and dance are like in the places I visited – Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Miami, USA – before returning to sunny Manchester and of course Blackpool!

“Writes with charm about his experiences and the people he met and I found that I could see the places he visited in my minds eye. For anyone with an interest in Latin America this is a joy to read, and if you enjoy salsa so much the better.

If you have visited Latin America this will bring back memories – if you haven’t yet this will make you want to do so soon.”

Mojito Magic at Tower Ballroom

Salsa band ‘Mojito’. Blackpool Tower Ballroom December 2010 from Simon Lowe on Vimeo.

Mojito warming up for the show

Local salsa band Mojito gave us another wonderful night at the Tower Ballroom Blackpool on Saturday. Almost everyone from Manchester salsa was there – big contingents from Les and Lorraine’s ManCuban and from Sola Salsa’s Spreadeagle Tuesday Rueda clan as well as lots of old friends from Opus, La Tasca and elsewhere.

Amanda with Rohan Brown - Why do they find this guy so irresistible? (Note to self: Wear black tie next time...)

Mojito were well on form with their typical chunky, authentic Cuban sound, excellent percussion from Christian Weaver and Rich Silwa and fine brass, keyboards and the rest from other great musicians I sadly don’t know by name.

And there were two vocalists – Damien and a friend who again, regrettably, I don’t yet know personally but hope to get introduced to. The vocals were as crisp and inventive as ever, with lots of neat little dance setps and Damien’s sense of comedy and verbal invention well on display. It’s wonderful to see these guys enjoying themselves so much on stage and it’s very infectious too.

The crowd was heaving, the sprung floor was bouncing

I hadn’t been to the Tower Ballroom before and it really is stunning: the vast height of the ceiling reminds you of a cathedral and the whole place is overrun with lavish flowing gold ornament and these incredible ceiling paintings – ladies with Chinese partasols flying through the air, people in carnival masks and holding lutes floating serenely among the clouds – it reminded me of the opium dreams of my favourite writer, good old Thomas De Quincey.

A wonderful setting. With the music powering away – long, inventive, exciting songs with plenty of improvisation and plenty of that sexy rumba feeling to them – it was a marvellous evening and I was sad to leave.

Check out Mojito on Facebook for news of their Christmas party, and don’t forget they’re also playing at Hollingworth Lake on 27 December just to blast away any post-Christmas sleepiness and head us for the New Year in dynamic style! ¬°Feliz Navidad, amigos!