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As its name implies, Mexrrissey is a tribute by various Mexican musicians to the works of The Smiths' iconic front man, Morrissey. The cover band has been wowing audiences across the United Kingdom and America with its radical reinventions of the Mancunian's back catalogue, transforming a whole host of much-loved indie-rock classics into party-starting Latin American anthems.
Mexrrissey wraps up its current touring schedule with three European dates, the first of which is joining the likes of The Horrors, Crystal Fighters and Savages at the annual Wahaca's Day of the Dead Festival at London's Tobacco Dock. Fans can also get their hands on Mexrrissey tickets for headline shows at Amsterdam's Melkweg and one of Morrissey's hometown venues, Manchester Academy 2.
Morrissey has previously commented on his strong relationship with the Mexican people, revealing in an interview that "nothing the world holds could match the love waiting for me in Mexico City." Mexrrissey creator, Camilo Lara, claims that Morrissey's fondness for melodrama, irony and sarcasm is one of the main reasons that Mexicans have taken him to their hearts. Band member Sergio Mendoza's previous outfit, Orkesta Mendoza, was also initially formed as a tribute act, with Cuban mambo king Perez Prado the subject of its devotion.
After an invitation to remix Morrissey's 2009 single, "Something Is Squeezing My Skull," helped him see the similarities between the cult hero's music and the pop culture of Mexico, Camilo Lara decided to investigate further. The former EMI executive and founder of the Latin alternative music project, Mexican Institute of Sound, subsequently teamed up with Sergio Mendoza, who had previously played in Orkesta Mendoza and Calexico, to form Mexrrissey, a group self-described as "mariachi, cumbia, danzon, cha-cha-cha meets Manchester."
After recruiting some of Mexico's finest musicians, including Café Tacuba's violinist Alejandro Flores, underground hero Chetes, keyboardist Ceci Bastida, guitarist Jay de la Cueva, drummer Ricardo Najera, horn player Jacob Valenzuela and trumpeter Alex Escobar, the group made its live debut in 2015 at the London Latin music festival, La Linea. A sell-out U.K. tour followed, and Mexrrissey tickets went on sale for shows at New York's Bam Peter Jay Sharp Building and the Regent Theater in Los Angeles, as well as an appearance at Tucson's Hoco Fest.
Mexrrissey initially only intended to be a live act, but was eventually encouraged to head into the studio to record a tribute album featuring its distinctive cover versions of "Big Mouth Strikes Again" (El Boca), "Ask" (Dime), "Everyday Is Like Sunday" (Cada Dia Es Domingo), "First of the Gang to Die" (El Primero Del Gang), and of course, Morrissey's ode to their homeland, "Mexico."
Despite the gloomy nature of Mexrrissey's source material, the Mexican outfit knows how to create a jubilant party atmosphere. The group's high-energy Latin American reworkings of indie anthems such as "Girlfriend in a Coma," "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" and "Panic" typically inspire mass sing-alongs, in both Spanish and English. Those with Mexrrissey tickets can enjoy an inspired animated backdrop that pairs images of Manchester streets with Mexican pyramids and envisions Moz as Frida Kahlo. The group's fashion sense, which typically consists of mariachi pants, Mexrrissey T-shirts and the odd black ten-gallon hat, and between-song chat about how they all first fell in love with the music of Morrissey also entertain the crowd.
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