Based in the vibrant barrio of Cabanyal, ‘ELViENTo Bar’ is a place that brings quality tapas and live music together in a relaxed and ambient environment. The lively outdoor seating area is welcoming and invites passers-by to peak in and see what the buzz is all about. Inside the vibe is both homely and trendy, with warm yellow lighting from the low-hanging lights. Wooden tables of various sizes are dotted around to accommodate large group gatherings or an intimate catch-up with a friend. The walls are adorned with various vintage-looking signs and framed tickets, with one corner entirely dedicated to comic-book drawings. It is a place that has a distinct character, and it is no wonder that creative individuals are able to find a home there. Adding to the comfortable feel of the bar, there is a sofa that sits at the front next to which singer-songwriter Graham John sets up his equipment, ready for his monthly gig. ELViENTo Bar provides a space for people to enjoy a variety of local talent and welcomes music of all genres.
Food and music are the main stars of the show on Saturday, with a large group of people sitting at a table near me and ordering and passing around various plates of colourful-looking tapas and chatting over glasses of red wine. It seems that many people are regulars or at least have been to the bar before, which is testament to the friendly environment created by those who work there.
I was fortunate enough to be able to try some of the famous dishes that ElViento Bar have to offer whilst enjoying the live music. I am presented with a plate consisting of their famous guacamole (without avocado!), a tostada topped with chopped tomatoes, peppers and beans, a soft taco with pulled pork, red onion and salsa. Their take on the classic Spanish dish of Patatas Bravas (on their menu known as ‘Bravo las Bravas’) entailed finely-sliced, crispy potatoes with a flavourful chipotle dip on the side. The dishes manage to preserve the authenticity of Spanish cuisine whilst still being unique to El Viento.
On a Saturday, many who are eager to enjoy some good music, good food and good company make their way to ElViento bar and I am able to have a chat with musician, Graham John, as people mill into the bar and make themselves comfortable. He tells me how he has been living in Valencia for 23 years now, after landing a teaching job in an international British school. As soon as he arrived in Valencia, he knew it was the place for him.
Describing himself as the ‘Bob Dylan of Cabanyal’, Graham has been playing music since the age of 19 and performing in bars in Valencia for the past 4/5 years: “I came here and started writing songs about my life here … and just took off from there.” Citing influences from the likes of Tom Petty and George Harrison, Graham writes and performs songs relating to his own personal experience, sung in English but still managing to translate the emotion to a Spanish audience.
It was chance that brought Graham to ElViento Bar and the welcoming nature of owner, Gonzalo that made him stay. He tells me, “It was my sister-in-law who had walked past one day and heard somebody playing. She told me about it and I just happened to come in and talk to Gonzalo about playing music and he said, ‘yeah come along, we’ll try it out’ and thankfully he liked the music. I’m very lucky because the majority is my own music and he’s fine with that. It’s something I’ve got to savour because otherwise it’s people who want you to play covers or people who want you to play songs that they know.” Although Graham’s set does consist of some covers, the majority of the set are songs that he has written and cover topics such as the beauty of being in love with ‘Ease My Mind’ and the uncertainty of the unknown with the song, ‘Mañana, Who Knows?’. You can find Graham John on Instagram @grahamjohnsongwriter!
It is clear that ‘ElViento’ gives its artists the space to be as creative as they want and attracts an audience that is open to hearing something new.
Experience the ambience for yourself and make your way down to ElViento in Cabanyal for a bite to eat, a drink with friends and the possibility of discovering your new favourite music artist! Space is limited indoors so RESERVATIONS are recommended: 60688200.
Carrer de l’Església del Rosari, 8, 46011 València
Facebook: @ELViENTo Bar
Report by Shemaiah Rose
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
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