Mexrrissey @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 28/01/2017 (Live Review)
Standing outside O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on a Saturday night with only six people in the queue, you wouldn’t blame me for being a little concerned. Doors open and the majority flock to the bar, which is where they remain for the DJ support act. Thankfully by the time the band grace the stage, (a good two hours after doors) the venue is practically full - there’s still just enough room to stand comfortably without people shoving and barging as I’ve so often experienced at shows, yet there’s an excitement that makes the room come alive.
So, who are Mexrrissey? In short, they’re a Morrissey covers band but with one major twist . Being from Mexico, the band introduce their own flavour to the songs – translating most if not all of the lyrics into Spanish, along with the acoustic guitars and the addition of the trumpet, they give the tracks a new lease of life. (Here's a piece from when we featured their debut album 'No Manchester')
The band has four singers and all are brilliant in their own right. They open with 'El Primero Del Gang', a take on Morrissey’s 2004 'First Of The Gang To Die'. The crowd absolutely love it – whether they’re native Mexican or just Morrissey fans, they’ve come to the right place and sing along with wild abandon. Their set is filled with music from all over Morrissey’s behemoth of a discography, 'Estuvo Bien' (Suedehead), 'International Playgirl' (The Last Of The International Playboys) and 'Cada Dia Es Domingo' (Every Day Is Like Sunday) all make an appearance.
As a backdrop, they have multiple animated portraits of the band’s namesake, album covers and other pieces of video that seem to loop – it almost slips into the subconscious that is, until it becomes political. An animated Morrissey beating a Donald Trump piñata brings a smile to my face and makes their set all the more personal.
They are a lively band and interact with the crowd often – keyboardist Camilo develops a rapport with the audience that surprises me. It’s almost conversational; he reminisces over having always dreamed of playing this specific venue in this specific city, which is of course met with cheers, rapturous applause and cries from the back of “Arriba México!”
Enjoyable to say the least.
Words and photos of Rhys Haberfield Media