We drove to Vigo in search of two very specific things: Pulpo de Gallega, the classic local dish of boiled octopus ‘n’ potato, and our friend Sara, a Vigo native, who we knew from Manchester. What we got was light drizzle, just like in Manchester. Tiresome Mancunian Stone Roses singer Ian Brown said that his town had everything except a beach – well, someone tell Ian that Vigo has both the rain and the sand, so he can stop looking now.
Vigo also has nightlife to frazzle synapses to a petrified crisp. I left my tent by the beach at 8pm on Friday night with the intention of meeting Sara, and fell face-first back onto the inflatable mattress at 12 noon the following day.
We went to club after club, had drink after drink, and met some of the most unusual people, including a Russian pimp, eagerly persuading me to hire a woman that may well have been his mother.
I was always a bit nervous of the prospect of a Spanish-style all-nighter, but it turned out to be a lot easier than expected, due to the sheer amount of chatting, laughing, and moving-on-to-the-next-bar-ing that is required. Time flies, and all of a sudden you walk out of the final club, gasping, into dazzling sunlight.
And the music? Well from what I can remember, in the club that was a local landmark – an artistic/musical enclave after Franco finally goosestepped his last – there was fairly generic and slightly quiet house music, and a moderately enthusiastic dancefloor. In a bar owned by a slinkily sexy singer from a local Riot Grrrl-type band, there was a bright and varied selection of low-profile indie, as spun by the patron herself, and drunk, sharp-dressed locals lurching about.
In the last bar – well, I’m not totally sure. I remember Common People by Pulp, and swinging a plastic flower along to This Charming Man, but I think I spent a lot of the time talking to a Portuguese doctor, avoiding revellers who were repeatedly stumbling out of the toilet, rubbing their nostrils, and trying to find out what day it was.
In short: Vigo likes good music, good times and is good value if you want to destroy your perception of time. Highly recommended.