Mexrrissey – Spiegeltent March 16, 2017 Auckland Arts Festival

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Mexrrissey, for those who aren’t familiar, play their own Mexican versions of songs by Morrissey and The Smiths. They hail from Mexico, and sing in Spanish. If you’re in any doubt as to how this might work, take a listen to their version of ‘Suedehead’ and you’ll get the idea. These aren’t just covers, they’ve been re-imagined and recreated into something that shows what true fans of Moz they really are.

It was my first time in the Spiegeltent, and it felt quite intimate despite being a larger venue. Rows of chairs covered the wooden floor, small booths lined the walls, there was a small-ish stage, and colourful stained glass windows bordering the domed ceiling.

Seeing Mexrrissey play live was like being in a carnival. The band kicked off with First Of The Gang, accompanied by some magnificent mariachi trumpet. The mood was instantly lifted. It felt wrong to be sitting down for this show. I was enjoying it but felt like we were sitting in a school assembly – ‘can we get up and dance?!’

The carnival rolled on, they treated us to more of their Mexrrissey hits, all of them full of their upbeat, festive, Mexican charm. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side featured a great guitar solo, and they kept the mood going by making us clap all the way through.

Girlfriend In A Coma had ‘cha cha chas’ added to cheer you up.  Everyday Is Like Sunday saw female vocalist Ceci Bastida taking the lead.

As the show went on, it became a game of ‘who can guess the song first’. It was surprisingly easy to do this, even if the songs are sung in another language. There was great banter from Camilo Lara who told us, “When we play in Mexico people get naked. We expect the same from you.”

We were a few songs in when they said ‘do you guys wanna dance?’ We thought you’d never ask!  This was the perfect moment to grab a drink and head to the front. Almost everyone was up on their feet and dancing. A small crowd formed on the side of the stage, as Ceci climbed up on the speakers and sang Last Of The Famous International Playgirls. 

After this, Camilo made a brief reference to what it means to be Mexican when Trump is in power, saying “I’m proud to be a Mexican.” This was met with cheers from the crowd.

He introduced the next song, “…speaking of this, Hang The DJ ”, and they launched into a spirited Mexican hoedown, a high point of the night.

This was followed by Bigmouth Strikes Again, which rounded off the set beautifully.

When they came out for the encore, they started with a quiet number called Mexico – a duo of  Chetes Garza singing and playing guitar, and some stunning trumpet playing from Alex Gonzales.

They followed this with their gorgeous version of Suedehead – Estuvo Bien, and my night was complete. I looked around and saw so many people dancing, and some singing along (or trying to).The night ended with a massive version of How Soon Is Now, then they took their final bows to some very cool exit music, which was not  – as you may assume – more Morrissey.

It really was a treat to see these guys. If you’re a Morrissey fan, or just a fan of Mexican music and feelgood vibes, this show will definitely leave you with a smile on your face.

Dedee W.

Photos courtesy: Paul Markham

 

 

Review by Dedee W

 

 

Mexrrissey play one more night at the Spiegeltent on March 17, tickets from www.ticketmaster.co.nz