Having just moved to Madrid, I am getting the hang of living amongst the prostitutes and in my hoboesque shared apartment. Maybe living in a strange semi-ghetto environment is a good thing. It makes me get out of my comforting room filled with trinkets and photos I have been collecting around the world.
One morning, during a Facebook check, I realised Laura Marling was on holiday in Madrid and was playing an intimate acoustic set in the back of a bookshop. I sprung out of bed and greeted the sunny day with a big smile.
Laura and I go back a long way. Not that I know her, but hearing ‘Ghosts’ played in a room with 50 people aged 15, was a moving moment for me. I have since seen her pack out grand venues and it’s been nice seeing someone slowly being appreciated for their musical talent.
After rushing to Opera, the bookshop, an independent hybrid of coffee shop and shelves stocking classics and new pseudo-intellectual material, was empty. My friends and I, confused, order coffees and sat next to a makeshift-stage. As we sat discussing why Facebook is a liar, a multitude of people rush into the shop and sat down close to the stage. Turns out, Facebook isn’t a liar but the best way to mobilize the masses.
Laura played a beautiful 20 minute set. The microphone and amp were broken, so we all sat in silence listening to her new material. It was one of the rawest concerts I have been to. Her voice enchanted everyone in shop.
As she left, I came to the conclusion that every city has its beautiful, secret moments and even though I may not be a madrileño, I have been privy to one of the hidden secrets Madrid has to offer.