By Claire Spencer
Since the lockdown restrictions were eased, live music on the Rock has mushroomed at local venues and the Cabana Beach Bar is no exception, with a selection of well-known bands appearing there. Camp Bay, as many readers will know, is a fabulous location, not least when there is live music on as well. The Cabana is a traditional chiringuito beach bar, a very popular destination for many Gibraltarians. If live music rocks your boat, then the Cabana is sure to spoil you this summer with their full schedule of popular local musicians billed to appear.
I visited the bar on its opening night on April 30th, which was a delightful experience for the eyes as well as the ears, with a stunning view of a sunset that might possibly have been created by an unseen celestial artist. On that memorable evening I was treated to a spellbinding musical treat courtesy of the well-respected band Levanter Breeze, who played some wonderful Arab Andaluz infused rhythms as the sun slowly sank behind the hills beyond Algeciras. What made the experience even more pleasurable was the wide selection of food and drink that was on offer, served up by the very hardworking staff. I was told that the opening night was a ‘soft opening,’ to let the staff bed in gradually, so that by the time it gets busy in the summer the staff will be up to speed.
Levanter Breeze have teamed up with the very talented singer songwriter Surianne, who sang with the band on the opening night. The band have big plans for 2021, as they are releasing two new albums, one of which features the band’s own material, whilst the other will be the collaborative debut album of Surianne and Levanter Breeze, which will feature Surianne’s original material along with some covers ‘with a twist.’ Surianne has a regular Friday night residency throughout the summer at the Cabana, with Levanter Breeze supporting her on the last Friday of every month. At other times she’ll have, as she puts it, her ‘partners in crime’ Louis Chipolina along with his brother, Dani, aka ‘Perro Percussionist’ from Levanter Breeze backing her. At the time of writing the band were actively seeking a venue to accommodate their recording gear, possibly from someone who might be interested in sponsoring them, in return for credit and promotion in the production of the album. If you think you might know of somewhere, then they can be contacted via their Facebook page.
Tim Turner, who manages the Cabana, told me about the different bands that will be playing there throughout the Summer; as well as Surianne and Levanter Breeze, another well-known local band, O.L.L.I. will also be playing the sultry sunny evenings away with a regular Saturday evening and Sunday lunchtime spot, whilst Steve James will be playing on Thursday evenings. Steve, who, as some may recall, played at the Cabana last year as one half of ‘The Night Watchmen.’ The other half of that conceptual duo, Scottish Steve, real name Steve Haddow, from West Lothian, can still be seen busking around town most days. Steve writes a lot of his own material, and if you happen upon him playing, ask him to play the wonderful ‘Ballad of Gibraltar.’
Tim also manages other venues in town with live music featured throughout the summer; he told me that Bob and the Boys will be making a regular appearance throughout the Summer at Gauchos, whilst Nigel Palmer will be at Tapas by Gauchos at the ever-popular location of Chatham Counterguard every other Saturday, with Surianne playing the Saturdays when Nigel isn’t on.