Well a  birthday in Rio is a first but it’s accompanied by all too famiiar English weather;  (Overcast windy and barely 21C).

Anyway I ended up in Lapa against my better judgement on Sunday nite as the 433  disgorged me into a pretty murky street illuminated only by the sign Nova Capel It appeared a traditional Portuguese but featured Cabrita on its menu (all white cloth tables & tiled walls) Goat  is a rarity in Brasil  found in Bahia usually confined to the Nord—Este  so imagine my surprise finding it in Lapa. Though a bit expenive (,R$ 120  £24) I felt moved to  make enquires from the waiter/doorman. He agreed it was expensive but suggested I try the 1/2  (meia) which was R$ 73

Lapa 4-0

After an inauspicious  welcome from the Police (20  armed military tooled up in various wagons). I had a blast. Forro (40 quarenta) is one of the musics that  hasn’t the legs to travel.  Like most folk musics it blends a few basic ingredients into a hypnotic mix: a sinuous  rhythm underscores an often flat  plaintive melancholic narrative.  The  upbeat rhythmic can be delivered at a walking pace over which the vocal  explores a completely different sensibility or counterpoint … A  kinda country salsa. Driven by the syncopated accordion and whatever percussion comes to hand.  Modern amplification creates a very powerful  sustenato  sound  that still transports you to a 1920’s/30’s. If country music moved below the waist it’d be forro. It comes from the NordEste hence is intrinsically slow but has that melancholy that is so intrinsic in the best folk musics.

With an iconic back drop (Arcos da Lapa) and a compliant cast of reprobates I decided to make a video for Cpt Kermudgeon’s well done U competition. The usual single take shot drama spiced with a bit of train rapping (Bob Crowe be turning in his grave) from MC do Trem;  I submitted my oeuvre half an hour before the deadline. In Brazil in such things as copyright are very transparent ( to the point of non-existence) ;no doubt my latest oeuvre will assigned to the BBC room101 without a backward glance.

So here I am on a Rio Monday that reminds me the English summer ,, its about 20C and overcast and windy.

Olimpicos que isso ?

I at last found two venues;  Deodoro the equestrian/ rugby/ hockey /Aquatic centre and  Estadio Lagoa Reme just over the road from Flamenco’s brick shit house walled compound.  Lagoon is as beautiful as Flamengo’s  ground is a fort Bastion style12’ high jerry-built  compound.

Estádio de Remo da Lagoa rechristened the Lagoon (Lagoa Rowing Stadium ) is an all white Frank Gehry style multi-media implantation where the rowing  is based in Gavea opposite Flamenco’s typical Brazilian crumbling concrete stand  HQ .  Adjacent to the very beautiful Clube Joquei. However the  site is completely log jammed during hora do rush (4.30-8pm).  

After taking a few snaps  I decided to treat myself at the Nova Capel in Lapa a very Portuguese affair;, white jacketed , tiled sycophantic affair moated by an industrial AC The Cabrita was excellent though a little on the dry ie no molho . The Miolo wine was industrial but did the palette opening shit! Had a masterful cake  sobremesa and wonderful cerverja escura I felt very tired & limped home to the Caxambu .just getting old guess?

Searching for Romina Pey

Rogeiro is now installed in the languid Romina’s stead. Very unBrazilian he actually turns up early upsetting the 8.45 am applecart  Very structured, again the bloody breath (pranayama) is instructed throughout the session, with a few dogs, even a Warrior thrown in …We did the most peculiar man in the mask. Hands over the face the fingers sealing  mouth/eyes  with the indexes over alternate nostrils Very slow we systematically visited every joint ;  feet toes, arms, shoulder, hips,neck, arms, legs, sideways curls. My problem as i can’t bend into lotus ,   shame no Om chant

Lindel Leslie un adieu

I got the sad news that Lindel died. One of the many artists I’ve been lucky to film, I send my condolences to his family. A private gentle yet  talented soul he stood out in an industry of over-sized egos and  under sized brains, Lindel’s trademark was his epic vocal. It was a privilege to be able to  record a little bit of Hamtun modern Black History. I salute you mon funk soul brother …  he leaves a legacy of happy memories plus some tracks ; watch this space!

 

 

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