It’s the coldest week of the year here in Antigua, Guatemala. We rushed back from the hot and humid Pacific coast just in time, as if we couldn’t wait to wear jackets again, and dove straight into a weekend of gigs.
(When we say “coldest” it seems important to point out that jacket wearing is seldom needed during the day...and this time last year we were in the Netherlands, so maybe we should call this ‘a bit chilly’. For those of you in colder climates, we are sending you the warmest regards!).
“Your music at Doozy Koala?” Our friend Sarah had remarked the afternoon before our final show of the weekend, “but that’s just a hostel full of partying Ozzies!!”
However, hours later, amid candles and Christmas lights (that screeched “Frosty the Snowman” on high-pitched synthetic bells from hell if you pushed the button one time too many), we played an intimate show to a crowd of avid listeners. The hostel guests, (still hungover from the weekend), seemed grateful for a change of pace. We brought folks out too, not only were there some fellow travellers who we met by lake Atitlán last month, but several other people who had seen one (or two) of our shows earlier that weekend, AND last but not least; Norm and Mimi.
Norm and Mimi are regular winter-in-Antigua characters, Mimi was first drawn to Antigua as a chocolatier, and it wasn’t long before Norm brought his cornet down. When you don’t find him in his captain’s hat reciting old poetry at the bar in Café No Sé (to a few engaged tourists hanging on his every word) you’ll find him sitting in with musicians all across town, playing tastefully, in such a way that it lifts up the whole vibe. He joined us for the last few songs, and what a treat!
It’s not just Norm and Mimi, it’s not just us, so many people come back again and again. There is something magnetic about Guatemala and Antigua in particular. The smoke from Volcán Fuego is equal parts terrifying and beautiful, the cobblestone streets are straight out of a storybook, and maybe it is “something in the water” (although we highly recommend filtering it before you drink it) but whatever is, we keep coming back for more.
After the show at the Doozy Koala (they’ve asked us back to play again) we watched the lunar eclipse from the courtyard at our own hostel. The moon went gracefully from brilliant silver, to the darkest grey, and finally the deepest red.
And so are we, ever in flux, finding our place here in the vibrant tapestry of colliding cultures, and music, and oh the food! Well, at least for a few weeks, and then on to the next (But we’ll be back)
Back in November, in New York City, we recorded this live video for our song ‘On A Whim’, now it’s ready for you to enjoy!
If you’re in Antigua, check out our upcoming shows at www.adifferentthread.com/tour