Lluís Gavaldà chooses the 'Bon dia' inspiration area and Passeig de les Palmeres as the favourite spots in his most personal Tarragona

Lluís Gavaldà / Pere Toda-Vilaniu Comunicació

The lyrics of Bon dia (in Catalan, Nice day), arguably the most well-known and sung tune by the local music band Els Pets, was inspired by a sort of micro-universe in the Part Alta, the one drawn by Portal de Sant Antoni, Plaça de Fòrum and Mare de Déu de la Mercè, Les Coques and Merceria Street, among others. In this tiny area you’ll find both genuine shops –although fewer and fewer these days–, and real neighbours, made out of flesh and bones, actually appearing in Bon dia’s lyrics, even though they’re not being named as such, as it is the case with Las Vegas Bar.

Bar Las Vegas / ©Lluís Gavaldà

It is therefore not surprising at all that when we asked Lluís Gavaldà (Els Pets vocalist) to name three very personal Tarragona spots –for the #lamevatarragona project we’re opening with him–, he starts by talking about this bar one can find right after walking under Portal de Sant Antoni. “Las Vegas Bar –says Lluísis a true institution in Tarragona’s world”, but it is also in his particular world because “it is a sort of entrance to the street I used to live years ago, which actually became the inspiration that took me to write the Bon dia song”.

Campanar dels Carmelites Descalços / ©Lluís Gavaldà

The second photo we got from Lluís Gavaldà tells us about his desertion from the Part Alta –“reason why I’m still being affectionately told off these days”, he says–. In fact, more than just a spot, it is a very personal and private sight, only within reach of those living at the top of Estanislau Figueres Street. Before leaving the small 40m2 flat in Part Alta, Lluís and his wife Núria Serrano searched for a good one for years, until they came across one that had a small balcony with incredible views, towards the Modernist bell tower of the so-called Carmelites Descalços Church. “We fell in love with the bell tower, full of stone pigeons that actually call the attention of real pigeons, plus that incredible sea… This is why we left the Part Alta and moved to the Rambla Vella area”.

Passeig de les Palmeres / ©Lluís Gavaldà

His third picture is one of Tarragona’s icons, the Passeig de les Palmeres, which has accidently become over the years the venue for his beloved Minipop Festival, the very first pop-music festival in Catalunya for kids and adults, once created by Núria and Lluís. Lluís himself admits he loves playing a voyeur role at Passeig de les Palmeresbecause this is where retired people gather, and their conversations are great as a source of inspiration” for lyrics.

Our conversation with Lluís Gavaldà finishes at Plaça del Fòrum, “the most charming square in the whole Part Alta”, and in which Lluís –almost as a superstition ritual– likes to walk under the still standing remains of the old Roman wall.

Text: Ivan Rodon (@irodon on Twitter)
First picture: Pere Toda
Video and translation: Artur Santos (@artur_1983 on Twitter)

In February, #lamevatarragona will welcome Gustau Alegret, Tarragona journalist, Washington correspondent for both NTN24 and RAC1, who does also write for Diari de Tarragona.