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Blog: Morrissey Goes Mexican

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On Saturday night myself and The Chilli In My Burrito went to London's Barbican Centre to see a show called "Morrissey Goes Mexican". We'd seen it advertised as a Mexican Mariachi band performing the music of Morrissey and The Smiths, which seemed like it might be a lot of fun!

Clearly we weren't then only ones to think so as the show was a sellout. When we arrived we found that it was a mix of middle-aged Smiths fans (you know, THOSE guys), younger people dressed up in semi-fancy dress, and a few Actual Mexican people. We got a drink, waved to Mr J Jervis and cohort who'd also come, and then took our seats for the show.

You get LOVELY seats at The Barbican, comfy and nice and wide, and we'd booked early so we were right near the front on the second row, and thus could watch the roadies fiddling with DI boxes from up close. Someone a bit further back was clearly A Bit Over-Excited and/or had never been to a gig before, as every time (EVERY time) one of the roadies came on he let out a YELP!

After that was all done the lights dimmed and two men came out and picked up their instruments - one a small guitar, one a MASSIVE guitar which, if you closed one eye, made it look like he was an ELF with a ukulele - and proceeded to speak entirely in Spanish between two INCREDIBLY long Very Authentic sounding songs that went on for five minutes EACH. It was, to be honest, INTERMINABLE - at first I squinted with my ears trying to work out what they were singing ("Is this Jeane"?) and then a great worry descended over me and, i feel, the entire audience. Was this IT? Had we been LURED into an ART or - even worse - FOLK MUSIC project of some sort? We'd come for fun, were we going to get CULTURE instead?

Luckily for us, after ten minutes, the rest of the band came on, picked up ROCK instruments, said "Hello" and launched into a fairly faithful version of "Last Of The Gang To Die". PHEW! What followed was a whole heap of HITS, heavily biased towards "Bona Drag" (which we had revised thoroughly, well done us!) all sung in SPANISH and with a slight hint of Being A Bit Mexican. A few songs into this section I suddenly thought "HANG ON - we're listening to a covers band! This is CLEARLY a bunch of Mexican chancers who said to each other 'HAHA! Let's see if anyone in England will pay money to hear us do Smiths songs!'", sort of like YEARS ago when London Bands used to RAKE in audiences with double tribute bands (most famously "GABBA" - Abba songs done in the style of The Ramones). As I thought this I looked up and saw that this is EXACTLY what had happened, and warmed to them IMMENSELY. Each of the band was clearly thinking "CRIKEY!" (or the Mexican equivalent) "Look at us, we're in flipping London playing the flipping Barbican!"

With all that settled in my mind I had a GRATE time. Some of it was distinctly odd - a big rock stadium version of "Everyday Is Like Sunday" with the lady singer BELTING it out like she was on The X Factor, striding from side to side of the stage was particularly RUM, and the mid-encore decision to do "La Bamba" left much of us BEMUSED - but it was also ACE. There was a big screen behind them showing animations, and The Lyrics In My Songsheet suggested that it could have been put to better use showing us the lyrics - several times they said "Sing along!" but we all had to reply "We can't! We know the English words but are not sufficiently adept at Spanish to translate!" (mostly in apologetic facial gestures, but I think they go the idea) but other than that it was a LOT of fun.

Now, does anyone know if there might be a market in the Oahu Barbican for a set of slightly tatty indie versions of Hawaiin Folk Songs? It would be ART!

posted 27/4/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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I went to see a guy called "The King" who covered songs by people Elvis might meet in Heaven"
posted 27/4/2015 by Gary

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