Carnaval Saturday, Part 2
Instead of staying in Schriek for the Belgian Julio Iglesias (he’s the Wayne Newton of Spain, right?) we went to another town’s hall, stopping off on the way so I could follow the festival tradition of engaging in far too much fried food. I was soon thoroughly podged on Belgian fries (which are well worth the fame, and make it clear that fries did in fact come from Belgium, not France) and a “bicky burger,” which is a colorless grey patty with fried onion bits on top, pickles, and curry ketchup. Yum! Well, yum at the time, remorseful soon after. But hey, it’s Carnaval, man!
A few friends were converging at our place before the concert, and I introduced them to one of my personal favorites: bugs on a log. Take a celery stick, fill it with peanut butter and line the top with raisins. Mmm mmm good. The Netherlands is one of the very few places outside the US that doesn’t find peanut butter repulsive, and Belgium is cautiously tolerant of the legume’s sticky deliciousness. The first intrepid sampler declared it “humph” which, translated through his girlfriend, meant “that’s pretty good.”
After my curry burger and peanut butter ambassadorship, the cultural tour continued at the concert, which had a Celtic theme. Well, the first and the third bands were Celtic, the second, which was the one we were there to see, is kind of a more musical, 5 man version of Tenacious D, called pIE p.KLEIN (pronounced basically “peep kline“ and which translates to “really small“).
The crowd was mostly older people, who watched the transition from traditional Celtic ballads to blaring trumpets, sunglasses, and inflatable guitars with cautious amusement. The songs about Spanish culture and Jack the Ripper’s more bloody brother (who is not as famous as a result of being discriminated against because he was gay) were well received, and the band moved on to one about how many women each of them have slept with. Arms started folding and faces going blank in the crowd. Then it was one about seducing other men’s wives, and the hall went very still. I of course found all this highly entertaining, and I suspect there were a few other grins hidden behind frowns among the crowd. Always fun to waggle a finger under the nose of stodginess.
The final number, which normally brings the crowd to its feet, was a sing-along cover, during which they unrolled banners with the words to each evolving chorus. These refrains dealt with women, and how we like them, covering such variances as the popularity of lesbians and twins. I think our table was the only one singing along. My defense, your Honor, is that I was drunk on bicky burger.
After the joviality of lesbiphillic choral work, the Celtic ballads seemed rather staid (although they did play the song from the montage towards the end of Napoleon Dynamite, which was pretty kickass), and we realized we were tired and took our leave. I think every pair of eyes in the place watched our exodus, and the band, now seated at the bar, was sorry to see us go.