Ah there we are strolling the sweet streets of Barcelona. Dan, Killian and myself along with the little perverse ninja Andy FLIP addicted Kelly. We landed in Barcelona last Thursday pretty early in the morning and had the day to walk around like some shit looking boy band as you can see in this photo. We made the conscious decision that we would always walk in a triangle formation just in case any of the Barcelona Secret Wars team were to ambush us and steal our hands. Its been known to happen. Believe it or not Terry Guys hands are actually 100% artificial. He lost them in one of the first Secret Wars Battles back in the early 1900's. Some Designer toy maker in Tokyo designed and created the hands Terry wears today. They are seamless and you would only notice when you slap low 5 with him he never follows up with a closed fist its always open hand. Anyway Terry gave us booklets on how to protect our hands so we read them on the plane over and were pretty sketchy about walking about and pointing at things. As you can see in the picture we are all going for the low hand by side walk. Killian found this really hard as he usually like to break into dance when he wants to express how much he likes something and in Barcelona all you really do is like something, from the walls to the shop fronts to the ladies cleaning those shop fronts.
The reception we got from the lads in Barcelona was unreal. Chino met us at the Apollo and greeted us with a collection of fine hugs which I was sold on. Straight away we were blown away with the huge venue. A bad ass old dance hall type theatre with a big stage. It was gonna be an unreal night you could feel it in your bones.
We got back to our hostel and got some naps for the big night ahead and worked out our piece in a very sleepy state.
Chino and the boys were unreal. Nicest folk you could ever meet. We all had drinks and food in their mates restaurant which was also a little celebration for chinos B-day. Oh the food! The hummus, the spring roll thingys, the chilly thingys, the bread....too too much. We were treated like kings and it felt good. I think it was here that we all realised how lucky we were to be involved in something like Secret Wars. The fact that this one idea which spawned into action can bring so many people together all through the same interest. Its amazing and at that moment in the company of all these new mates we didn't give a fuck who won or who lost. That was until we were introduced to one of the guest judges who insisted to us that Barcelona were gonna win tonight. Oh its ON MOTHERFUCKER!!! We knew from the minute we met everyone that we were the amusement for the night. We knew we had to really hammer out a piece that would win over the crowd and bite the legs off the other team like any good underdogs.
It was a great feeling to be the first Secret Wars team to witness the awesomeness of how they put on a show in Barcelona. The venue was packed with a huge Rock a Billy show when we arrived. We were surrounded by the best buzz ever and we just wanted to pop our pens and hit the boards. Hats off to the set up, the lads put together one hell of a show and any team would be lucky to even get there just to meet the guys let alone go up against them. At one stage Andy came back in to us as we were having a drink on top of another drink. He showed us a huge line of people outside that he recorded on his Flip camera. The line went the whole way back down the road. The organisers of the night and the lovely Clem were saying that they expected at least 1000 to 1200 people to show up. That shit never happens on a Thursday night back home. Insane! The nerves began to kick in. Before you know it we were up on stage screaming and shouting and then BOOM! We were hitting the boards! Nice big 8 X 12 size boards and for the first time since the Bernard Shaw we have height in our piece.
There was a really good flow to how we worked. Killian would start a line I would finish it Dan would jump up to start one side as I would join up with what he started. We felt a bit overwhelmed at the start and mapping out the right size was important so we let the Captain do his thing. We were working at a good pace and man it was hotter than a crack then up there, flippin lights, cameras, break dancers and some awesome tunes.
Now we went up as 3 Irish lads with markers and that's it really. No gimmicks, no tricks and no fowl play in mind. I think the crowd especially at the front caught onto this and were screaming for us the whole way through. This began to pass through the crowd and it was nuts to hear DUBLIN screamed from a huge Barca crowd. We had no Irish supporters with us not a single one so that was really encouraging. The Barcelona team came out in masks n dressed up and were dancing for the crowd and doing loads of mad shit. As they were doing all of this shit they must have lost their minds and forgot all the rules of how the Secret Wars battles go. I'm pretty sure using pencil to sketch out your piece beforehand is against the whole idea of Secret Wars. The idea of using just black markers on white board makes it way better as you as an artist have to develop your skills to make the positive and negative space balance well and create the idea of tone and shade in a monochrome fashion....so why the hell were the Barcelona team using WHITE MARKERS!!! They used them in the whole piece and to be honest made the piece look dirty and messy and not very fresh. I'm guessing that's two rules broken right there. They say they didn't know but nahhhhhhh they were well up to date on everything else and seemed like they could have created the whole thing by the show they put on. I'm sure they watched all the other battles so I think it was just a bit sly and if anything it tricked the crowd.
Now don't get me wrong these were some of the coolest people I have ever met and I would go back in the morning and live there if I could but each time you visit a city to battle it out with them, it means they will come to yours also. So its only right to start things off right. Right? We put up one hell of a fight and in front of a strong crowd of 1200 people all on our own man. The other teams will know it when they hit there for sure. Intense in the best way.
The thing that got me was the crowd vote. That is usually the best fun of any Secret Wars night and everyone no matter if ya win or loose gets a damn good kick out of it once its done right. Its wasn't that night. I was at the side of the stage after we dropped our pens and the votes came in. We got one from one guest judge and the other voted for his team like he said he would which is totally messed up right there. Andy and the Barca host held the disciple reader up. The place went nuts for our piece and it was well high on the reader. But then it went weird. The scream went out for Barcelona but the host wasn't happy so he said it was just a test and do it again. Then when it came to who got the louder scream it seemed like it was Dublin. We felt we won it. But then the Barcelona team got another go at it because they said the DJ was scratching or something. Anyway Barcelona were declared the winners as the crowd boo'd them. Then they started chanting DUBLIN! Everyone came up to us saying how our piece was way better and even one of those who said that was on the Barcelona team.
My buzz about the whole event is this. It was one of the best nights I have had in ages. Unreal. I cant see how a Secret Wars event can be held in a better way and we learned a lot about how we do it back home.
But the rules need to be sorted out because as fun as it is its still a competition and in the end a year later someone will come out on top. I think if it were London or another team in Barcelona when that shit went down they wouldn't have put up with it and something would have been done about it. I hope this doesn't get swept under the rug because if it comes down to us missing out getting to a final by one point which we lost out on due to fowl play by others we'll something needs sorting out! We felt awesome after Barcelona and it was all because of the crowd and the people. Morally we felt like we won and that's not us been freak sore losers but if the aftermath we are getting that buzz on.
Barcelona will be coming to Dublin to have the second battle in a few weeks and we will hopefully show them a good time like they showed us but we hope they leave white markers and pencils at home.
Barcelona 2 Dublin 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Round 2 HELLS YES!!!!