Spanish Handshake – Mariachi Style

Imagine Clark Kent’s your favourite fella to take for a pub lunch right? Then one day, he orders a cheese and bean burrito instead of his usual pie and mash and drops the bombshell that he’s got a whole other life as some ‘Superman’ bloke. Is he effing serious? Yes. A raving mentalist? Apparently not. After initial reservations that go something like this: “Don’t be ludicrous, you’re REALLY good at being Clark Kent, and besides, I’m rather quite afraid of people with split personalities”, you are proved all kinds of wrong and end up with a semi-exotic new mate who is essentially the very same talented bastard that you grew to love in the first place. Even if he’s donning a costume and insists on wearing sunglasses indoors…

From this:


To This:

Following? No? Ok, The Bronx (best hardcore band on the planet – if you’ve seen them live and disagree it might be because you’re deluded and enjoy watching things like celebrity knitting…) finally came to our shores as El Bronx, a (fucking brilliant) traditional Mexican supergroup. I can indeed call them a supergroup cos El Bronx’s guitar is manned by Vince Hidalgo from The Drips – who just happens to be the first and only Mexican I ever met. Well technically, he’s third generation and doesn’t even speak Spanish, but still… ace. What else is super? Brad Magers’ moustache, that’s what: making trumpets hella cool on both sides of the Atlantic.

First, The Bronx made a fitting start to our Breeders ATP weekend last month and then what appeared to be the entire festival turned up to see El Bronx the following night. It felt like a big hippie camp. Not just cos frontman Matt Caughthran’s face was lit up so excitedly that he looked fit to explode with a decade’s worth of free love, nor was it cos I was stoned beyond all belief trying to cure a demonic hangover, but rather, because that gig was full of new experiences, like discovering shit loads of love for this imported drug called ‘mariachi’. It’ll make you feel cultured, get you high and it’s legal!

Two days later, a one off London show at ULU supplied a second fix of this Bronx/El Bronx double excellence. And they even let us have fun with freakish delinquents Kong as support. Bloody awesome that, look:

Sorry the quality is crap, but if you can stay remotely steady with a camcorder in a Bronx pit, then, erm, stop showing off you fembot. And whoever lost a size 11 Vans pump, it made a new home in the middle of my face after a journey across hundreds of people at (approx speed) 3,000 miles per hour. Hairy Cinderella, remind me to set your pubes on fire next time you want to crowd surf wearing slip-ons.


So here’s the thing, if you’re not making the effort to listen to The Bronx’s alter ego, do start. Their debut album is released worldwide on August 17th. If there’s one new band you stumble out of your tent for at Reading or Leeds festivals this summer, make it this one. Failure to do so could potentially involve Magpie from Kong giving you (yes, all 70,000 of you) a golden shower wake up call and come Monday, you probably don’t want to explain to your mum why your face smells of crazy northern piss.

(Pics: Lisa Flynn)

You could even write to the mighty Ben Wileman at Wichita and insist El Bronx emigrate to benefit Britain’s cultural education. *Note to government, this should include Mexican cooking classes. For now, let me know your response if you were at this gig or if you caught the band at ATP? Or simply rant below about how the very idea of hardcore punk carnage successfully blossoming into beautiful mariachi music has evaporated every single ounce of disbelief from your iPod.

Cos it has, hasn’t it?

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