Sunday, 22 December 2013

Liepaja and Daugavpils

In the space of a couple of days I visited two of Latvia's largest cities: the port of Liepaja on the West coast and Daugavpils, birthplace of Mark Rothko, very close to the Belarus border in the South. 

The show in Liepaja was at the Youth House, a cultural center which offers work shops, free guitar lessons and shows. I was very impressed by the well equipped music room; as I arrived the sound of guitars could be heard as a group of teenagers practiced. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera with me so I have no shots of the show or place, but here is a link to pictures taken by a staff member of the Youth House: Photo Link

A quick phone pic of Liepaja:

Daugavpils was a long train-ride from Riga, nearly five hours; I slept as the landscape whizzed past the windows and woke with a jolt with a number of aches and pains as the train pulled into the railway station. 

The show was at a newly created bar Artilerijas Pagrabi, one of, if not the only outlets for alternative music in the city. It had been lovingly created from a ruined cellar and housed an enthusiastic staff who mixed mean cocktails. 

The other part of the trip was to explore the old Fort just outside of the city, within which the Mark Rothko Center was located. Being a big Rothko fan, I couldn't miss this opportunity to visit the City of his birth or the gallery that had been created in his honour. There was a strange juxtaposition between the state of the buildings, some covered in icicles and decayed brick-work, and the road infrastructure which had recently been rebuilt. The bright winter light cut through broken coloured glass as empty bus stops, unused pedestrian crossings and the smoke billowing from decrepit window frames were lit cleanly and harshly.

After the visual feast of the Fort and it's environs, Sandis (my company on this trip) and myself went back to the city to revel in the Christmas lights and plastic snowmen before the very busy gig. 

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