Big night out in Playa de las Americas
10 April 2013
Back at the hotel we get ready for a big Night Out. Jim has mentioned swanky restaurants and Cleo Laine’s Jazz Club and we are expecting Playa de Los Americas to be completely over the top in the magnitude and variety of its nightlife, clubs bars strip joints, drugs, booze. We think it might be too overwhelming, but we are ready to give it a go. We emerge from the taxi into a deserted and brilliantly illuminated nightscape. It feels as if we have entered some sort of post apocalyptic game. The streets are deserted and we spend a considerable amount of time trying to find any action. Eventually a girl soliciting custom outside the flapping door of a large marquee noticed that we have hesitated a moment too long and we are dragged inside to see a few bedraggled Americana fans in cowboy gear listening to a drunken singer reading his words and singing to a machine. I kept wondering where all the young people were. We wouldn’t stay and the staff pleaded so much that eventually after making them shut the door, we sat down and had an indifferent meal during which the crooner stumbled and made terrible jokes that seemed to embarrass his co singer. As soon as we could, we escaped to find the real action we were sure must be here. All we could hear was the rolling waves whose languid white crests were just discernible in the dark long night that stretched all the way to America.
Shortly we were accosted by ‘Gary Sparkle’, as he soon told us he was called, who virtually forced us to enter his new venue, promising fantastic live music and a programme of events that we could sign up and pay for immediately. We refused this latter offer and followed him into a cavernous labyrinthine location where stagnant pools of water with canons and statues of Captain Hook and Long John Silver loomed from the darkness. There were two tattoed lads, and an old couple, in a venue that would have held 300. It was obviously a decommissioned theme park. The only other member of the audience was a man so drunk he could hardly walk, a nuisance drunk who repeatedly tried to snatch the microphone from the valiant singer. It was so abysmal that it was amusing but we left as soon as decently possible while Gary was out on the street again, creeping past the dripping green pools and the leering pirates on our way. Giving up on the bright lights instead we walked back round the coast path peering into the overwrought hotel complexes frothing with kitsch, illuminated like a grotesque three mile long tableau vivant.