A FORMER mayor of Benidorm was back in the spotlight in his favourite place, though in a completely different guise than in his days at the helm of the Costa Blanca city.
Though many former mayors across Spain frequently hit the headlines or the courtrooms over corruption scandals, Manuel Catalan Chana was instead performing at the L’Aiguera park, debuting his new career as an amateur singer.
Chana, Benidorm mayor from 1983 to 1991, didn’t have a fantastic reception – slightly more than 100 people gathered to hear him belt out some old Spanish, French and Catalan classics – but he proved he has a voice worthy of the stage and raised, an albeit lower than expected, €500 for charity. There was some rumbling that very few city hall representatives were in attendance, especially as tickets for the benefit concert were a reasonable €5 but Chana was unfazed and sang his heart out regardless.
The former Socialist politician, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor again in 1999, may be one of the first politicians to turn singer, bucking a trend that usually works in reverse. Perhaps the best example was the legendary English rocker Screaming Lord Sutch, who went from releasing the ‘worst album of all time’ to standing in more than 40 elections, losing them all.