The lovely traditional town of San Juan on the west coast of Tenerife is more noted for its bingo nights and market days than its über-cool music scene, but what they obviously like to keep a bit of a secret is the fact that a large number of the residents really like to rock.
Traveller Blues Band who have played in the town on a couple of occasions are building a completely new fan base in this corner of the island. It is especially thrilling that these band followers actually live here rather than being the transitory holiday-maker, who while greatly appreciated are likely to forget their experience once they return to cooler climes. These new fans are mainly German with a smattering of Spanish, and a good helping of Brits thrown in too.
Yesterday evening the band played at the Atlantic, a traditional German bar that gives the general impression of a standard meeting place to gather and discuss the day’s events rather than a hot spot for music appreciation.
The first session was pretty quiet as being a lovely evening people were sitting outside watching the sun go down over La Gomera and the tiny island of El Hierro. However once the sun faded the heat was provided by the music and boy did it get hot.
It was no surprise the new fan base recognised the covers of classics like Boom Boom and Johnny B Goode but it was a bit of a revelation to learn they also knew the words to a whole tranche of songs that Traveller had written themselves. The band played The Crossing Roads; a self-composed number early in the evening but following several requests to play it again this was the song they chose to finish the night off.
Traveller are a 4 piece band but last night the audience were in for a treat as AJ, Whiskey’s 9 year old son, celebrated his birthday by joining his father and friends on stage. He kept perfect time on his djemba (think that is the name of the drum but I am happy to be corrected, even by a nine year old). I am sure he was told by dad to keep his eyes shut, concentrate on the beat and not get nervous, but no sooner was he on the stage than he was in ‘the zone’ and singing along with the band. Mr B will have to watch out as this little guy is very talented. So talented in fact that the owner of another bar in town came by to book the band for November and said they must give AJ a spot.
I did take a few videos but I have to admit I would rather play with words than pictures, however this will give you a basic idea of what Traveller do, but they do it a whole heap better than what I can produce with my little box brownie.