Some months ago I received a call from Sergio. Sergio works for Razzmatazz Club and he had just found some old drawings of mine in the office. He kindly asked me if he could use them for a special book they were making for the 10th anniversary of Razzmatazz Club. I had totally forgotten the existence of those drawings, I had made them ages ago and they were never used so I naturally said yes. Now I am really glad I did so because the book, thanks to Sergio´s beautiful design and the material, both texts (from musicians, djs, journalists or friends) and photos, is incredible and I am really happy to be part of it. It is a book celebrating 10 years of youth culture, concerts, cigarettes and alcohol, crazy dance moves, one night stands and once in a lifetime loves, razzmatazz and nights on the town, fun fun fun and music to top it all up!
Razzmatazz has been like a home to me. Even before I started working there as a dj, I used to go there every week. My memories of Barcelona will be forever linked to it. I still remember dancing my heart out to Arcade Fire´s "Rebellion (Lies)" as if there was THE ONLY song in the world that mattered and I still remember staying for hours outside the club, talking to people whilst "Such great heights" from The Postal Service would burst out of someone´s car, back in 2004, during my first months in the city. In the beginning I used to roam all five rooms of Razzmatazz looking for thrills, with starry eyes and a hungry heart, pushing my way through hundreds of wild kids, trying to make my own little corner of fun. As I grew older I started running away from the crowds and the electronic music and focused on the Pop Bar where I feel more at ease and the music is more of my taste plus the Torre Agbar view from the huge windows is magnificent.
It is in Razzmatazz where I gave my third concert as Evripidis and his Tragedies and the first one with a full band. I remember Javi Buenavista, one of the chief responsibles of the club and a good friend, telling me: "I offer you a show but...why don´t you build a group all around you and your piano so that it is going to be a more vivid gig? After all, you will play at 3 a.m in front of drunken people!" Well, I did so and suddenly it was eight of us on top of the tiny stage of the Pop Bar! After that there was no way-back: I keep on playing with a whole bunch of musicians and friends whenever I can. We ended up playing at Razzmatazz a lot of times, either alone or supporting groups like Arab Strap ( who ended up wanting to beat us up because our drummer stole their whiskey!) or Psapp. I also ended up being one of the residents djs of Pop bar. Five years have passed and I have shared the dj booth with friends like Bonnie and Clyde or iconic musicians like Jarvis from Pulp or Kate from The Long Blondes. And I have had the time of my life.
I cannot pretend that things are the same. As the years have passed a lot of the people who used to hang out at Razmatazz have gone away to give space to a whole new generation of kids, fierce and hungry for fun as always. Some time they get on my nerves (maybe because I envy their naif ways and incredible energy) and sometimes they wake up the tenderness in my heart because they remind me of how I used to be, when I still used to lose myself in the night, fall asleep in the corners (once I fell asleep on the front row of The Horrors concert at the main room of Razzmataz-fact!) just to wake up half an hour later and keep on dancing, make out with everyone, spill my drinks on me, perform absurd choreographies, sing my lungs out and end up with the most horrible hangover, sometimes alone, sometimes no. Although I mostly go to Razz in order to work nowadays, from time to time, for the old time´s sake, I still let the Devil take me by the hand and I kiss the floor when my dj session is over, remembering my dance moves and singing emotional hits at the top of my voice.
Once a journalist wrote in an article concerning my music that I am an "Ave Nocturna", a night bird in Spanish. Maybe he is right. Barcelona has a lot of stuff to offer but it is in its night spots where a big part of my life here has taken place. Classic and essential for the music scene venues like Razzmatazz, Apolo, Sidecar or Moog, much missed legendary places like Mond Club and La Paloma, bars like La Penultima, Las Guindas or La Bata de Boatiné and one-hit wonders (or should I say one-season wonders?) like Indie or El Balcon de Aquilles have been or still are responsible for giving our city a spicy nightlife and for giving us a playground where we can dream we are whoever we want to be...until the dawn breaks and the mirror shows panda eyes the side of a Plaza Cataluña.
Thank you Javi, Julie, Cristian, Nuria, Paloma, Ariadne, Sergio, Albert, Marc, Mirella, Marta, Aleix, Dani, Aileen, Antonio, Carol, Paco, Ray, Laura and all those who work or have worked in Razz all these years for being such a pleasure to be with!