Haunt you in your sleep…I will haunt you in your sleep…in your sleep…in your sleep…I will haunt you in your sleep.
I was spellbound – this was trance music. One man and one guitar, yet voices and guitar riffs interlocked and separated, interlocked and separated, sometimes overlapping with each other, at others reversing completely to create music that was both melancholic and compelling.
This was something new, something I had never seen nor heard before. Matt Elliott was layering his music as he created it – slowing his vocals down, speeding them up, reversing the words, swapping his guitar for other instruments but without losing its tones as chords he had already played were also layered and looped. He was interacting with his own music, messing with time and convention to create a sound that was unique – and one that will be completely different the next time he sings this song.
The result had a similar effect on the other members of the audience around us, many of whom stood stock still, transfixed by Matt Elliott’s mesmeric music.
I managed to break free from the spell for a moment to look at the people around me. They seemed an avant garde crew – there were a lot of beards and berets. The women looked as though they liked to smoked Gauloises as they read obscure poetry. If this was the 60s I’d have described them as beatniks.
They were an attractive bunch and had more of an individual style than most Canarios who tend to follow seasonal fashion trends. I’d have said they were students from La Laguna except some had clearly left their student days behind many moons ago.
Who are these people and where do they hang out when not at alternative music concerts?
The majority of people in the audience were Spanish speakers. There were only a couple of hundred, so a wander around made it easy to note what nationalities made up the numbers.
An hour earlier I was watching football in a British themed bar with British visitors. The contrast was sharp. Despite there being a popular British bar less than 100 metres from the spot where I stood on the harbour at the OCA festival in Puerto de la Cruz, I saw no other Brits in the audience. There were some Germans and Scandinavians but, generally speaking, the British seem to stay away from events like these. I don’t understand this.
From my position on the cobbles outside of the historic Casa Aduana, I let my eyes patrol the area, there was a surreal element to the scene; Matt Elliott’s music provided an aptly disconcerting soundtrack.
On one side of the harbour a mix of more mature visitors and residents peeled roasted chestnuts and drank from plastic cups of country wine whilst on the other a talented and original English artist created contemporary magic for an audience that had beamed in from an episode of MadMen.
At the World Travel Market at the beginning of the month a British journo made fun of Tenerife’s minister for tourism on Twitter because he described Tenerife as an island of contrasts.
The journo obviously doesn’t know Tenerife.