A Festival Of Underground, Experimental & International Music
April 2021
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Day Eight – Toucan Time



Monday, and a new week in Botafogo. In one of the hottest days yet Clare and I ventured off to the Botanic Gardens. The one thing that has struck me about Rio so far is how nature and the city co-exist very happily together. Everywhere there are trees and flowers growing among the buildings along every street. The lush canopy of magical trees and shrubs is totally breathtaking, that and the scent of Brazilian fauna. It does give me a sense that the jungle is not far away. And just as we enter the gardens a huge lizard appears on the path. Crazy size of a beast in a public park. The sign that instructs us not to feed the wild animals doesn’t quite seem as funny now. We wander through the gardens and suddenly we see the most amazing sight. Toucans!! Blooming Toucans! Such strange and beautiful birds. As they hop about on the wiry grass they look like they might fall over because of their huge beak. And they make such a racket, squabbling amongst themselves.

The evening’s show is at my favourite venue so far, Audio Rebel. Clare’s first taste of this gritty venue. Outside we chat to the gathered throng. It is great to see so many of the Brazilian artists supporting Chico and the team. Keith Fullerton opens the evening with a really well thought through set of densely fissing noise and beats. Sort of organic techno does dub. At one point he sustains a blurry dub beat which moves the back wall. Then we have Mark Fell. He comes straight on with very little pause in the proceedings which catches us all off guard. What a sound he makes with the crashing dance of the devil’s techno ricocheting all around the room. And we even danced.

Out in the corridor our host Pedro, Audio Rebel’s main man supplies us with beers as we chat. John Stevens from Qu Junktions appears. It is really good to see him and hear about Laraaji’s laughing workshop. Negro Leo pops in and it turns out he’s rehearsing for the Sunday show with the Chinese Cookie Poets till early in the morning. These guys are great.