What is the reason for this visit to Tenerife?
We have participated in a visit organized by the Cadiz Provincial Tourist Board together with Tenerife Tourism, which has participated in the promotion of the Binter airlines between Jerez de la Frontera and Tenerife and also with Gran Canaria. Many things unite us in Cádiz and the Canary Islands: Carnival, the culture of the sea, wines, cheeses and enjoying an enviable climate. It is a reunion: the murga from Tenerife comes from the Cadiz gunboat Laya.
Tenerife is not a strange destination for you.
We came to the Canary Islands for the first time thanks to Legañosos, in Gran Canaria, for a charity festival fifteen years ago and here we continue to enjoy Carnival. On Monday night we were with friends from the murga Zeta-Zetas. They are innovative and hard working. We enjoyed the conversation with Santi Martel, who sells copla like us, and with Naara Hernández, the first author who has won a prize in the Tenerife murgas contest and whose comical vis is noticeable. And after the guy from La Voz (Besay Pérez), how impressive she sings; I freaked out The people from the chirigota did know him, I don’t because I watch porn (laughs), although I’m the only one who says so.
His last contest performance was with Chenobyl.
Yes, in 2020 – they stayed in the semifinals. It was a difficult year because that was when the covid began, even one of our colleagues had a terrible time and even had to throw himself on the ground to breathe; Very little was yet known about the pandemic.
How do you face the new Carnival?
With enthusiasm, after already overcoming the stroke and precisely on this day in which the mask has been removed and allows us to sing fully. It was the day I wanted, you can now sing and laugh without a mask.
This year there is no contest.
We went out last February with the illegal ones; illegal in Cádiz means singing in the street, and we have done that.
But this year they ‘became’ illegal.
Illegal is singing in the street. We decided to enjoy the year to ourselves. Now in June there is a contest, but we will obviously be on the street. As a couplet says: «This year Carnivals two, little chapels one».
Why did you decide not to compete this year?
It seemed silly to invest money, invest content and ideas just for the contest and for a summer month, because September is already here and you have to start rehearsing for next year; we will go out again because I look good to go out, for a component, with new lyrics… We have also recovered a little the components that went with our philosophy.
Do you not regret having decided not to compete in 2022?
No, we have done very well. Vera, for example, is going to put out a troupe, to try; It was the year for that, but he will return with his chirigota in February.
Has the covid taken its toll on the chirigota?
No. We have been connected by whatsapp as if it were a family, which is what we are (he gets excited). For us it is to continue and return, and we will fully do so in February. And going back to the Canary Islands is a gift, a wonder. Frankly, we believe that we do not deserve so much affection. On Monday night we were at the venue and they were taking photos with us, when we were the ones who wanted to be with them, who are the winners of Got Talent, damn it, or with the voice that portentous thick glasses have.
Could a murga repertoire be sung in Cádiz?
No, because there are no pasodobles and cuplés. The themes, as they are called here, would fit in potpourri quatrains but shorten them. I see the repertoire more than comparsa; as a spirit of rehearsal, more of a choir: there are many to distribute –as Yuyu would say, he laughs–. That’s how a choir is, a family that has to be organized, that can’t be a joke and there has to be discipline and devotion, lime and sand, for it to work, and they have their place, which is our envy.
Here the murgas are very lucky because there is real involvement of the authorities in what is happening in Cádiz. There the city council does not give premises; we have to go through the schools and get a place. In Cádiz they have never done what has been enabled in the La Salud market; it is true that there are seven thousand groups from inside and outside and it is outrageous. It would be impossible.
Everything is political will.
The Cádiz City Council only uses Carnival to pay for Holy Week. Any mayor or mayor wants to perpetuate in power, be it from the left, for the same payment. The collection of some seats that in the semifinals or finals, which can cost up to more than one hundred euros, finances Holy Week and keeps the whole city happy: the little chapels on the one hand, those on the left on the other… everyone is happy and remains in power.
Do you have ideas for 2023?
Yes, of course, what happens is that now what amuses me is black humor, like Chenobyl, in fact we didn’t go to the final because the jury was a complete comparsista and they told us that the repertoire was very street. Yes, you bastards, thanks for the compliment! Because for me to tell myself that I’m from the streets is a compliment. We do not lack prizes; people freaked out with us.
What does the Santa Cruz Carnival have that you would like Cádiz to have?
The integration of women. In Cadiz it’s not going to happen for now and unfortunately that a murga of women is among the winners, as has happened here with Naara, from Triquikonas. I would like to have a Naara of you in Cádiz, and in the streets of Cádiz there are Naaras, aunts who write like a whore, with wit and wit, but they don’t feel like it because it’s a recalcitrant contest in all things.
What would you like the Cadiz Carnival to have in Tenerife?
Each of the carnivals has to be as its citizens want. That’s clear.