Basque in the Country

Ou la la … this isn’t France anymore Toto!  We crossed into Basque Country, where they speak a language that is not phonetically related to any of its neighbours, where people still “disappear” into the mountains, and where they are intensely defensive of their separate national identity from Spain.

Monday night we played a concert in a 200-year old prison, which is now run as a community youth centre.  We managed quite a good turn out and they broadcast the show on their own pirate radio station.  They put on a special night for us because they don’t get a lot of foreigners coming through town.  After the concert they all went home and left us to sleep in our cells.  Now this is taking the Johnny Cash experience tour just a step too far right?

cell block rock

our cell

We didn’t have to travel far, so we had time to drive up into the mountains and visit a newly built monastery, where the crypt is decorated in surrealist murals.


Tuesday night took in a show at Ibu-Hots in Vitoria-Gasteiz, followed by a Wednesday morning walk around the old part of the city.  I still prefer the italian kitchen to the spanish though.  We have been on a meat feast ever since we left home.

This was our set up at Ibu-Hots:

ibu hots

This evening we are back in France (just) for a show in Bayonne.  4 more shows to go.

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