JUST OUTSIDE the central business district of Buenos Aires, Argentina, there is an old run-down mansion. It’s about to be demolished. It’s also the rehearsal space (and occasional living space) for local band, Polaco Sunshine.

Faca and Hernan play in small venues around Buenos Aires. I first heard them play in an underground venue near Palermo.

Due to a horrific incident in 2005, small bands are now forced to play in unlicensed, private venues. The disaster has had many repercussions for small venues in the city. But, five years later, musicians and music-lovers, have found a way for the music to play.

During my visit I was given a list of houses and apartments where gigs were booked. I attended a few and was overwhelmed by the atmosphere created in these small places. One venue was a living room in someone’s house, another a room on the second floor of another’s apartment. There were small entrance fees and beers served at bargain prices. It was rare to see any foreigners.

Polaco Sunshine’s music is ideal for these spaces: it’s an easy listening mix of alternative folk and rock.

Their mansion rehearsal space is set up like a stage, complete with plastic, toy mascots in the front row (one being Gary).

Garden space, random empty rooms and crumbling balconies are perfect for inspiring creativity and writing new music.

Polaco Sunshine have been written-up in South America’s Rolling Stone, evidence of their progression as a band and a far cry from their humble beginning a few years ago: cruise ship performers.

www.myspace.com/polacosunshine