Address: Av del Carrilet, 235, L’Hospitalet
Metro: Avinguida Carrilet (L1)
The Salamandra is not in Barcelona, it’s in L’Hospitalet, the adjoining city that forms part of the same urban mass. As a club, it’s an absolute jewel in the rough. The main hall is one of those rarities nowadays that still plays ‘a bit of everything’, from rumba to rock, from techno to eighties – a lesson for those folk that have never been out of a city centre in their entire lives and therefore insist on their places of leisure focusing on just one form of music. If something comes on that you don’t like, tough – go get a drink, take a leak, go outside for a fag and by the time you’re done, the DJ will probably have moved on to the next genre of the night. And if you prefer a more indie / alternative thing, you’ll find that in the smaller room next door.
Especially now that the metro is open all night on Saturdays, it’s become a popular getaway for people who have had enough of the crowds and increasingly unaffordable prices at the Apolo and Razz. A few bevies in the legendary indie bar Deposito Legal followed by a night in the Salamandra also mean that many people in L’Hospitalet are happy not to bother going into the city at all. For foreigners, i.e. guiris, it can be a nice place to get in touch with the ‘real Catalonia’, although be warned. It’s precisely to get away from people like you that so many people go to the Salamandra – so if you come away thinking that they played ‘too much Spanish shite’ then you really missed the point.
It’s a small venue for concerts, but also one of the most active – focusing particularly on local bands and less mainstream sounds, only every now and again will any international names appear there, and even then they won’t be very big ones.
It’s a fairly long metro ride almost to the end of the red L1, and if it’s not a Saturday when the metro operates 24 hours, you’ve got a long and expensive taxi ride back home. But it’s cinch to find one’s you’re there, right next to the metro station, beside the Kia Motors showroom. Deposito Legal is also marked on the map provided here, and well worth popping into at some stage of the evening as well. You’ll wonder why you ever bothered wasting your time with the tourist traps and plastic Irish bars around the Ramblas.