August 19, 2008

Rock comes to Chania!

8404903 We don't get to go to gigs very much here in Greece - it is one of the things we miss most about the UK. There are a lot of concerts across Greece, but not many big international names come, and certainly, few of them reach Crete.

So, imagine our excitement when we saw a poster for Chania's Rock Festival featuring Paradise Lost, a band we have CDs by!

It is just down the road from us this weekend. A whole rock festival in our adopted home town. How cool.

Oh, hang on, this weekend you say?

You mean, the weekend we are on holiday across the island in Elounda?


March 08, 2008

Calimero! Calimero! I feel like chicken tonight!

20080224_calimero One of our favourite bands are Welsh outfit Super Furry Animals. We've been to see them lots in concert. Well, we did when we lived in the UK, anyway. Despite having all of their albums and most of their singles, they often used to play this one song live that we didn't recognise, as it was on the b-side of one of the few CD singles that we didn't own.

Finally, at one gig, lead singer Gruff explained that it was called 'Calimero', and was named after a cartoon they used to get in Wales in the 70s which featured a young chicken that still had a bit of eggshell on his head.

They used to play clips of the cartoon in the background during the song, but I was never 100% convinced it wasn't all just a figment of Gruff's drug-addled imagination.

Until the other day when we saw these in our local Lidl....Calimero socks!

January 08, 2008

Maria Callas exhibition in Chania

Before Christmas we went to see a photographic exhibition about Maria Callas, which is being held in the gallery on Halidon. Μαρια Καλλας - 30 Χρονια Μετα commemorates her death in Paris 30 years ago in 1977. I didn't know much about her when we visited, but it has rather piqued my interest.

Maria Callas

There are some great photographs in the exhibition, including some taken on Halidon street in Chania itself on a visit during the 60s, and some stunning images of her in the role of Medea in Covent Garden in the late 1950s.

There is also one panel featuring some fantastic old album covers.

Maria Callas album sleeves

Another picture in the gallery sees her seated behind a BBC microphone at Bush House, where I used to work. There is a short chapter devoted to the visit, in 1952, in George Angeloglou's book "This is London, Good Evening" about the Greek section of the BBC World Service, which also reproduced the photograph. During the visit they had to break BBC studio rules about allowing non-interviewed guests in the recording studio, because Maria's possessive husband refused to leave her side!

The exhibition is free to enter, and runs until the 20th of January.

June 15, 2007

Road Trip Day #6: Eurovision Night!

0030asitia Now, I've talked before about how seriously Eurovision is taken here.

The build up to the show resembled the way the BBC and ITV used to build up to their simultaneous coverage of the F.A. Cup Final. NET had a two hour preview show, only interrupted by a news bulletin, on which the lead item was the Eurovision Song Contest.

Mega was even worse. When Claire got back from the trip she found that the hours of American TV she records each Saturday had been replaced by six hours of Eurovision preview. All on a channel that wasn't even showing the contest.

We'd made sure our hotel room in Sitia had a TV for the occasion, but we could have watched it in any number of tavernas. In Sitia they all seemed to have their big screens out for the occasion.

We chose to sit in our hotel room though, and simulated the group party experience by having a free flow of text messages back and forth between Crete and various people in London.

0030beurovision We had our own voting fiasco as well.

Neither of us could get through on the telephone numbers on Greek TV using our pay-as-you-go Greek mobiles - perhaps they had identified us as immigrants and denied us our voting rights?

I tried to vote by text message, having at the last minute decided not to vote for the goth-sheer-body-stocking-and-bin-liner combo of Natalia Barbu from Moldova, and instead opt for Georgia's ambitious electronic Bjork-a-like Sopho.

I don't think I did it right though - from the instructions on screen I think I was supposed to text E11, but I missed off the 'E'. Then I tried again, but couldn't work out if I had to text a western capital 'E' or a Greek capital epsilon character 'Ε'. Which might look the same to us, but which I'm sure are very different to the computers counting the votes.

Then the time limit expired.

We didn't think much of the winning Serbian entry. Our favourites included the aforementioned Moldova and Georgia, whilst Claire had intended to vote for Romania. We liked the Finnish entry (more goth rock) as well.

0030celtonwrong Claire found the Swedish glam rock entry to be every thing she hates - "I just can't bear it". We also, like most of Europe, despised the UK's Scootch entry with its smug red, white and blue fly the flag British patriotism, and calculating campness. Let's be honest, if you are going to do camp at the Eurovision show, you really have to camp it up à la Ukraine - or "Elton Wrong" as Claire dubbed him.

We were most pleased that Greece did not get relegated though - I'm not sure we would have heard about anything else on Star or Mega news for the next six months if they had.

A lemon tree of our own

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