In July of last year LA hardcore heroes The Bronx invaded the tiny shed in the back of a pub in a town in West Yorkshire that few people know where it is. The pub was The Parish and the town, Huddersfield. Now seven months later and they return with their alter-egos Mariachi El Bronx.
Bringing with them support from Pounded by the Surf, an instrumental surf rock band compiled of Joby J. Ford, Brad Magers, Vincent Hidalgo from El Bronx and Thaddeus Robles. Taking the stage, clad in cowboy attire which seemed odd for a surf rock band. That was until they started playing. With a strong wild west tone, they produce the sound which can only be likened to what would happen if John Wayne being cast in Pulp Fiction. Despite a broken string mid-set, the band powered through and warmed the crowd up nicely for the main event.
Mariachi El Bronx took to the stage and powered through Right Between The Eyes, bringing the feeling of Mexico to quite possibly the least Mexican place on the planet. With serious faces all round with the exception of front-man Matt Caughthran who looked like he was having the time of his life, smiling ear to ear. Whilst praising the town and venue, detailing events of their day off and the notorious difficulty of Parish’s Monday pub quiz. Also trying to start a motion to tear down the statue of ex-Prime Minister Harold Wilson in front of the Back To The Future-esque train station (google it, it is uncanny) and replace it with a “six man, one woman statue of Mariachi El Bronx”. Aside from all the jokes and praise for the town, Caughthran repeatedly gave his thanks and appreciation for the people who keep the band touring and allowing them to do this for a living with such sincerity it made the night into something special.
The crowd were treated to an extra splash of Mexican as The Champs’ Tequila Song was played on the PA whilst percussionist Jorma Vik taped his kit down and also to the first tour playing Sleepwalking. El Bronx pulled tracks from all three albums and got the crowd dancing for Silver or Lead and fans breaking UK law by pulling lighters out for Eternal. What stood out most from the show was the technical ability of the band. Whether it be Vik’s drumming for a genre which traditionally has no drums or Ford knowing his way around a classical guitar to such a level.
One thing that people never expect is for a hardcore punk band to form a mariachi side project and a further thing that people don’t expect is for them to play the music so well and treat the genre with such respect and that shines through in their live show. This is no gimmick but truly something unique.