A few months back a friend recommended me to go to Anselma's. She didn't really know how to direct me there and didn't tell me any more than that it had a good atmosphere. She assured me that anyone in the streets of Triana would know it, or her.
True to her word, a passer-by pointed us in the right direction, although upon arriving it still wasn't clear if we had reached our destination. The shutters were down and the mosaics above the door read 'Comestibles', not 'Casa Anselma'.
People were spilling out onto the road with a faint 'rociero' melody interrupted intermittently by loud outbursts of "vuelve a las 2, a las 2,'" "está a tope, a tope" ('come back at 2', 'its full"). The words were pouring out from a stout, black-clad woman in the entrance way, stopping the hoards from trying to squeeze in. It was not just her floral mantoncillo draped across her shoulders that made her appear a typical Andalusian woman -she was abrupt, loud and had plenty of guasa (wit): she was Anselma.
The crowds realised that there was no space for them and dispersed, heading to bars recommended by Anselma herself: “they sing as well as we do, but you must come back at 2”. My friend and I held tight and she eventually beckoned us on in.
The room was stuffy, packed with small gypsy-style hand painted tables and adorned with typical feria and Rocío paraphynalia. In the corner at the front was the choir, a coro rociero, a collective of people that sing hommage to the Virgen del Rocío and who go on pilgrimage every year. They were equipped with a percussion box and guitars, and not to forget the most important of instruments, their hands and voices! They performed upbeat bulerías and sevillanas to which a pair danced.
An hour into the show (at around 1 am) Anselma shouted across the audience "Stop dancing, I want to sing!" and she shimmied through the crowds to do what she knows best. It was clear that she was an experienced show woman: she joked, acted, and had a powerful copla voice.
Almost all of the people in the bar were Spanish: there were hen parties, and young groups of friends and couples. I would really recommend this bar to people that have knowledge of Spanish and the country's culture: the audience participated (singing along) at the end of the show, as Anselma belted out some classic Spanish tunes. However, without knowing a word of Spanish, I am sure that any guiri (foreigner) would be blown away by the atmosphere and Anselma's cheeky charm!
C/ Pagés del Corro, 49, 41010 TRIANA, Seville
+34 606 162 502
Google map: bit.ly/qxNlna
* BecomingSevillana is our Been there local for Seville. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/seville-local-kim.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/BecomingSevillana.jsp
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