We understood that complementary drinks were offered, but rather than one glass of port wine as at other venues, a whole range of drinks and even food was served. Our visit unfortunately coincided with a very large group, so the staff spent twenty minutes serving, with the group leader shouting as each different drink arrived. During this time, a random selection of films on fado was being shown in a fairly disorganised way. We were aware that fado in Coimbra is sung by men rather than the women who are most well known nationally, but we were totally unimpressed by the singer, both by his voice and presentation, which lacked any atmosphere, and seemed to be intended to 'please the crowd', ending with audience 'la-la-las'. We also knew that the guitar plays a bigger role in Coimbra, and indeed the Portuguese guitar player was very competent, doing several solos while the singer disappeared behind the curtain. Having sat through the tedious distribution of drinks, we felt the break was totally unnecessary.
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