It was 1993 and I had decided to take the boys to go and spend 9 weeks in Seville, Spain. Spending a summer in one of the hottest cities in Spain, on average 50 degrees, we always sought time away from the heat and sat around most days by the lido. Living la vida loca wasn’t really on the menu with a 6 and a 7 year old until John and Luke joined us 3 weeks into the stay.
Southern Spain in the summer is all about enjoying yourself. The essential air conditioning , siestas, tinto de veranos, late night eating, street parties and an abundance of performances whether by bulls or artists made life loveable and smugly cultured – just what we loved.
Cadiz was a mere 80 minute drive away and was showcasing one of the world’s most innovative musicians it had ever and was ever likely to know - Prince.
Leaving the boys at home with popcorn, coke and a plan of their own we arrived at Estadio Ramon de Carranza, Cadiz with our golden tickets in hands. We were later than we had anticipated and the summer’s sun was decidedly kind. Thousands of enthused fans lingered outside the circular stadium. Not a queue in sight. Everyone must be inside we thought. We entered the 5 storey stadium to find it practically empty and within an hour this hadn’t changed. No pushing, no shoving, just an easy space to move around and watch the greatest showman on Earth. Night fell and we stood adjacent to the speakers, the bouncers and the British fellows – the spot could not have been more perfect. Portable bar men and women moved freely around offering drinks - this practice is no longer a new phenomenon, but in 1993 it was quite unique and brought a warm smile to your heart.
The beating of the sun stopped at the same time the beating of the drums started. Lowered from the top of the set on a golden swing was a spectacle to behold. Their face veiled with golden chains sang out’ My Name is Prince’ as the intro started - over and over and over and over again – are you kiidding me – my mouth was agog! I had never seen the start to a set like this. The intro lasted for about 10 minutes – Prince - guitarist extraordinaire - face veiled in golden chains being lowered to the stage ‘My name is Prince, and I am funky. My name is Prince, the one and only…’ – I was practically in tears, the goose bumps brought pain and shivers to my frazzled body. From the side of the stage the real Prince appeared, guitar in hands singing ‘My name is Prince, I did not come to f** around… The veiled spectacle continued to swing high on the set. ‘ The crowd turned electric as we caught the first glimpse of this illuminating artiste – tiny giant, a prophet in the music industry with a huge presence and fingers on the fret that you have never witnessed before. The voices and screams from both outside and inside the stadium could be heard the world over.
The concert continued in this inimitable style – the curtains will never be drawn on this magician -without a doubt the best showman on Earth – there will be no resting in peace for his soul - his soul will continue to waken us and make us smile. Thank you Prince – such a wonderful memory.
The set list from the evening is still accessible
When we arrived back to the apartment after midnight we found the boys being boys – now that’s another story in itself!