Sunday, April 18, 2004


Bear Will Attack entry for 17th April


Routine is much a part of Saturdays in this household. Pressures of the work week have been put aside. Although relaxing is on the agenda so too are the little tasks around the house and the week’s big shop at the supermarket.

Until late afternoon then, this was an ordinary seventeenth.

A difference was in store. For this night the 51 year old Festival Hall on London’s South Bank played host to Tuscon’s Calexico. A year ago or more Calexico played at the Barbican’s “Further Beyond Nashville” series. That show ranks in the top tier. With full mariachi band in tow, Joey Burns and John Covertino’s alt-Tex-Mex sound was at its best.

Calexico are big enough here in London to sell out the Festival Hall. At £20 a ticket that’s good going. But, it’s easy to see why. As at the Barbican this was a fine show.

Amparanoia, from Spain, opened up and once again proved that it’s always a good punt turning up for the support band. A weird mixture of Gypsy beats, Cuban rhythms and funkiness, Amparanoia triumphed in their UK debut. Later on the whole band joined Calexico in a group hug of an encore. They were full of energy.

What to say about Calexico? If you don’t know the group get out and buy “Feast of Wine” right now and catch them live if you can. They are like a swirling Arizona dust storm blowing through your mobile home. Truth be told, the brass section gets my missus going. Surf guitars, mariachi brass (blown by a Arizonan and a German), Paul Niehaus’s wailing steel pedal and thumping big bass.

Great memories of cruising down I-10 on the way to Flagstaff, AZ (gateway to the Grand Canyon) filled my head as it hit the pillow.

:: Posted by pete @ 21:27