One advantage of sitting around in the coffee shops and restaurants in Sydney’s “Little Portugal” is that you soon learn which Portuguese singers are coming to perform in Australia.
Due next April is a huge name in contemporary (well, sort of) Portuguese pop, Tony Carreira. He will be performing at the Melbourne Pavilion on Saturday April 23, 2016, and at the Clancy Auditorium at the University of NSW in Sydney the following afternoon (April 24).
My first introduction to Portuguese pop music was via a bargain bin of CDs at some hypermarket on my first visit to Portugal as an adult some seven years ago. The were called “Disco do ano” (discs of the year) although sometimes the year was not specified. They seemed to consist of the same stable of artists trotting out the same simple cheap and cheerful cheesy pop songs – tolerable but certainly not cutting-edge stuff. Still, you have got to start somewhere.
One song that I did like on them was Tony Carreira’s Quem Era Eu Sem Ti (Who was I without you), which came out in 2002. Here, though, is a live version recorded in Lisbon in 2010.
About seven years ago my Portuguese was pretty basic but I was pleased to be able to listen to this song and understand some of the lyrics … and it helped me remember two of the four weather seasons…
CHORUS Eu sem ti/Quem era eu sem ti?/Um inverno sem sinais de primavera/Eu era! (I without you/Who was I without you?/A winter without signs of spring/I was!)
The full lyrics can be found here, and below is the studio version.
I have written about Tony before: not long ago he recorded an album of duets in both Portuguese and French, you can read about it here.
So, would you go to a Tony Carreira concert? Let’s have a look at two other songs which have made it onto his greatest hits compilations, starting with A Vida Que Eu Escolhi (The Life I Chose).
The next one will help you remember a common subjunctive, seja, from the verb ser (to be). Mesmo Que Seja Mentira (Even if it’s a lie).
Where to buy the tickets, which have just gone on sale, is a little bit complicated as it involves the Portuguese community network around the country. Your best bet is to email firstname.lastname@example.org, but if you are in Sydney they can be bought at Fernandes Patisserie at 420 New Canterbury Road in Dulwich Hill, tel (02) 9668 2114. Adult tickets are from $69 while children up to 18 are $30. If you buy them at Fernandes at least you can sample their delicious pasteis e pudins (see my previous posts) while you are there.
Sydney has had a taste of Portuguese music recently. Just last month acclaimed fado singer Ana Moura was in town. Here’s a short clip of her Sydney performance at the Enmore Theatre.