Gig review: Mariachi El Bronx, Glasgow

King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow. Picture: TSPL
King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow. Picture: TSPL
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WHO knew there was such an appetite for mariachi punk crossover in Scotland?

Mariachi El Bronx

King Tut’s, Glasgow


But it seems there is, with fans crammed in for this spirited show, leaving little room for swaying to the romantic ballads or dancing to the peppy party tunes but always space for vocal appreciation of Mariachi El Bronx, the Tex-Mex iteration of punk band The Bronx.

To be clear, The Bronx are not from the Bronx. The Bronx are from Los Angeles, and ideally placed to soak up the chicano musical culture of southern California. With a bit of extra mariachi muscle drafted in on violin, guitarron, stand-up drum kit and “very horny” horns, they make a very convincing Latino party band, frontman Matt Caughthran eschewing the punky larynx shredding to access a more soulful tone on the likes of 48 Roses (“for the lovers”) and sensitive delivery of Poverty’s King heart-of-the-matter lyrics, “Everybody wants to be alone until they are alone”.

Elsewhere, there were feisty outlaw paeans (My Brother The Gun) and skiffly knees-ups (Party Animal). Such was the fervour in the room that Caughthran was moved to claim a piece of history: Mariachi El Bronx and King Tut’s – in its 25th birthday month no less – together at last. Though one senses that Caughthran approaches every show with this mischievous sense of occasion and commitment.

Such are the special powers bestowed when these (mostly) white punks don the blood red shirts, bootlace ties and beautiful brocade suits of their mariachi incarnation.

Seen on 04.02.15