Every month, we guide you through eclectic, beautiful, brilliant live music venues from across the globe! This month, from one of our own’s foray to Lisbon, Lloyd Griffiths shares the balmy, scuzzy, enigmatic treats of Lisbon!
The 1st thing to know about Lisbon is that the sheer number of bars, venues & art spaces is kind of brilliant & embarrassing in equal measure. British towns don’t lay a finger on Lisbon for ingrained cultural hotspots seeping out of every pore of the city. Every nook and corner of the city’s bustling Barrio Alto district and beyond is filled with front rooms open as bars, bars shoe-horning music in wonderfully ramshackle ways and a prevalence of fado – bars, theatres & other places hosting the particularly emotive, gripping aforementioned Portuguese Folk music.
Beyond that though is a magnificent mix and embrace of arty spaces -from venues swept up in 50s jazz, underground dance and as well as that, a burgeoning underground & DIY scene. Musicbox is very much indicative of the city as a whole in welcoming a brilliant mix of art.
Sat on Pink Street, next to a plethora of spaces, the punky-underground, under-a-bridge Musicbox is a go-to point for all things fuzzy & scuzzy. But like most of Lisbon, it’s chameleonic musical mix is enthusiastically received, fitting left-field DJs & small enough to feel involved in each live show.
I’ve been intrigued by a glut of great psych-rock from the Iberian peninsula recently, having enjoyed the brilliant Baywaves & Holy Bouncer’s shows at Gwdihw and it seems it’s thriving there too. As we entered the cavernous yet welcoming, sharp yet scuzzy interior of Musicbox, we arrive just in time for the glorious Sun Blossoms. Striding through psych, confidently melded with invasive, all-consuming noise-rock, they blew me (and tbh the headline band) away. With glitching visuals, it only added to the mesmerising experience in a venue that felt at once deep underground yet gloriously large. A stage, not a pit, but underground and secret enough to call your own.