Live Music on Tenerife

Wed, July 6th, 2011 - By Andrea Montgomery

As we enter the city of Santa Cruz and slow down to join the traffic, I switch the air con off and open the car window. A blast of hot city air rushes in to dispel the artificial cool of the interior. It’s a hot June night in Santa Cruz.


We’re heading into the capital for the opening night of the annual Santa Blues festival which sees three nights of top notch Blues being staged for free in a charismatic, cobbled plaza in the old quarter. The venue is small enough to provide an intimate atmosphere yet large enough to hold a decent crowd, perfect for that Blues club feel. Throw in temperatures still around 26°C at 9pm and you could just as easily be in the Deep South – Louisiana I mean, not Playa de Las Américas.

With draught halves of Heineken on sale at kiosks for €1.50 each and a place right at the front of the stage, we watch local band Lightnin’ Blues ignite the Santa Cruz night with a set of classic Blues rock and mesmerising electric guitar. Next up is Mississippi’s Andy J Forest who caries the audience on a high speed journey, propelled by his on-stage presence, his amazing harmonica playing, his washboard Blues and his ‘Crazy Legs’. We foot stomp and clap our way through an hour and a half of Delta and Swamp Blues before wending our foot sore way back to the car around 12.30am.


Two nights later, we’re in Puerto de la Cruz at the cobbled frontage of the San Felipe Castle where a stage and beer kiosks are set up for the European Day of Music where no less than seven bands are lined up to entertain for free until the early hours of the morning. With Mount Teide looming large on the horizon behind us, the Castle of San Felipe beach side and the obligatory glasses of Heineken in our hands, we fall instantly under the spell of Track Dogs whose high energy, compelling lyrics and note-perfect timing set the night off to a rip roaring start.

Next up is the sweet sight and sound of Alondra Bentley, then the Birkins raise the tempo with their je ne sais quoi pop/rock which gets the audience dancing and singing along to the chorus. After the Birkins, La Bien Querida bring some soulful acoustics to the night and we bid adieu as a prior appointment with our terrace and bottle of red makes its presence felt.


Over this weekend I could have spent all three nights at Santa Blues, or headed to the beach on Thursday for the Noche de San Juan live bands and it wouldn’t have cost me any more than the price of my beer. If I had wanted, I could also have seen Tangerine Dream featuring Brian May at the Starmus festival in Costa Adeje although that one was ticket only.

Tenerife is packed to the palm trees with live music, particularly during the summer months when hot nights are perfect for cool sounds beneath a star studded African sky. If you’re planning to be here, keep an eye on event listings and add a mini-Glasto’ to your holiday – one without the rain.

Posted : Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 9:02 am
Category : events
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