Visiting a Musical En'Clave
It's been a rather challenging job to find live music to enjoy here this August. Lisbon has very few clubs offering live music, leaning toward DJs at discos instead. However I have managed to learn about some places worth checking out. The En'Clave in Lisbon's Rato district is a restaurant/music club/disco which caters to the city's Cape Verde immigrants and anyone else who just wants to enjoy that tiny african country's Moma music.
I took a couple other americans with me to this tiny hole-in-the-wall where a ring of the buzzer eventually brings a bouncer who opens a tiny door on the door and peers through, surveying the worthiness of all who wish to enter - speakeasy style.
Once inside we descended some stairs into a central dining/kitchen/stage room. I've been in larger living rooms in the US. The place had the unpretentious vibe of a basement room in a church and was filled with oilcloth-covered dining tables and wooden chairs and there was just enough room down the center of the room to function as a dance floor.
On the stage a young Johnny Mathis look-alike was leaning back in a chair and belting out joyously sweet tones in Cape Verdian Creole. He was backed by an enthusiastic trio of musicians and an electronic drum machine. I would never have placed this music as coming from africa. To me it had more in common with south american styles.
The musical highlight of the evening spontaneously occurred when a slight 60ish guitar player stood up to take an extended solo. He began with Elvisesque pelvic thrusts, which propelled him onto the dance floor, and then proceeded to play for at least five minutes with the guitar behind his head; Jimi Hendrix-style.
My friends and I had a thoroughly great time and only left at two in the morning when the band was taking a short break.
Cheers For Now,