Photo by: Julio Arboleda
Rock-funk band Quicksand Remedy
For anyone musically inclined and wanting to get a band together, there are two main obstacles to overcome: finding the right combination of musicians, and then finding places to play. And neither is particularly easy when living abroad, especially if there are language issues. But that’s not to say it’s impossible, as shown by the band Quicksand Remedy. Created in 2006, its members John (the drummer, originally from Cork in Ireland), Chris (from Liverpool, the singer and guitarist), and Diego Olchansky (from Buenos Aires and the band’s bassist since 2008) all have day jobs, but in their spare time, they’ve worked hard to establish their group here and are now looking to help others with a MySpace page: www.myspace.com/bcnmusic.
“The reason behind it was that for bands to play gigs in Barcelona is pretty difficult,” explained John. “They charge a lot of money, you have to rent facilities... you’re talking about maybe paying up to €600 to do it, and then you have to bring people in to make your money back.” As such, the band has always played with at least one other group to pool resources and share costs. The BCN Music webpage is a way to expand this system to a bigger scale and there are now around 450 bands listed there.
Of course, it’s taken time for the band to get to the point where they can help others. “At the beginning it was difficult for us... and we’ve played a few shit places that’s for sure,” admitted John. However, their experience should inspire even the most down-hearted muso. From a first concert in a small venue not geared up to electric bands where they had to finish by midnight (but was cheap and a good option for bands looking to get experience), they’ve worked their way up to bigger venues, including Razzmatazz, Sidecar and Sala BeCool. They also have “a good album’s worth” of songs, so are planning to do some recording in the new year.
Despite all the effort involved, John and Chris agree it’s worth it. “I enjoy playing here more [than at home],” commented Chris, “because you get more of a reception from the crowd.” “We didn’t get into it with the idea of being famous or getting a record deal,” said John. “We just kind of got into it with the idea that we enjoy playing and we get on well together.”
The band will be playing at 7Sins on November 13th, 2009.
Take my advice: Chris and John share some of their key contacts:
Musicodrom: “Very cheap and it’s handy, and the guy [Hamed] is really nice... speaks English.”
Ramón Turro 133, tel. 93 300 7360
Wheel Sound Studio: “We recorded our first CD in there with Xosé; he speaks good English and is a really nice guy.”
Cerdanyola del Vallés, www.myspace.com/wheelsoundstudio
Shindig Sessions at Re:Public House bar
“Nine out 10 of the people who play at these sessions are English-speaking... a really good place for anyone who’s coming into town who wanted to start playing a bit of music.”
Passeig Sant Joan 74, tel. 93 265 9084
TO FIND OTHER MUSICIANS
OTHER BARCELONA SUGGESTIONS FROM CHRIS
Shop—Dway, just next to Carrer Princesa is one of my wife's favourite places. www.dway.es
Restaurant—La Coronela, www.lacoronela.es. Love Mexican food, and I have tried a few around town. This one is by far my favourite, I could eat the home made guacamole all night!
Place to take visitors—Los Bellota, Camí Antic de València, 89-93. Very nice place 5 minutes from the Rambla Poble Nou. Good atmosphere, nice ham and friendly service. Always appreicated by family or friend visitors. www.losbellota.com
Out of town - Cadaques, home of Salvador Dali and a beautiful place.