Live Review: The Bronx, Numbers Radio and Mariachi El Bronx @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 09 September 2009

Review By: Hannah Collins
A punk gathering with more ink than I’ve ever seen in one place gravitated to Brisbanes Hi Fi on Thurs 9th for what will soon become, a show of constant intrigue.
Mariachi El BronxEntering the venue and approaching main viewing area, I’m tuned in to the sight of a rather tall, masked clown making funnies on the stage. Standing alone, in front of the red and gold, fanned Bronx titled backdrop, it feels somewhat like a circus. Deep red lighting accentuates the atmosphere, as the “clown” begins to chant and stir the audience. Statements like “get those tequila shots into you guys!” come ringing from right of stage.

The venue fills extremely quickly and for once I actually note the prominent presence of the boys in Blue. Always in the background at events of the kind, numbers today seem somewhat excessive, although not entirely unexpected considering the history of mayhem attributed to some of the Bronx’s previous live performances.

Mariachi El Bronx, is something I didn’t expect to see. Thinking of the support types for an L.A punk band, something different springs to mind.

But, much to the audiences entertainment, first support act of the night was a spin off of the Bronx themselves; by the Bronx themselves. Mariachi, Mexican acts, usually associated with traditional Mexican dance music, played by a band of strolling musicians dressed in native costumes……. Not exactly the support you would have expected, yet completely fitting to the ever eccentric outlay that is The Bronx, with three eponymous albums!

Mr. Clown announces them whilst subtle Mexican songs are played softly in the background, and on stage they come. Accompanied by two extra’s, one trumpet player, one Mexican bass and all dressed hilarious matching Mexican outfits. Black with gold trim, red scarves loosely fitted above the collar. The hilarity of the event hits the croud as screams and cheers fill the venue.

As they begin playing, there’s not a lot of movement in the audience, mostly intrigue. Everyone’s intently watching the boys as the play Mariachi spins of their own songs. Matt Caughthran, vocals, seems to be enjoying himself immensely, and the grin on his face didn’t move for the duration of their short set, as he sway’s gently back and forward to the beat. Jorma Vik – drums, looks like stone, sporting a pair of heavy black sunnies, quite obviously assisting him to block out the reality of the situation, and subdue his laughter. The sound from the guitarrón (Mexican bass guitar) was deep and humble, trumpet solos’ and all, the set was short lived, but completely engrossing.

Next up, Numbers Radio put in a solid performance to pump the audience levels between Mariachi El Bronx (The Bronx – Part 1) and main act The Bronx.

The crowd fills the Hi-Fi for The Bronx before their main set. The clowns now up on stage again, this time his antics are upped a level as he’s assisted to don a straight jacket, just after throwing streamers, shoes and beer glasses at the crowd. Intro mood music, erie and electric, then The Bronx are on, and the lack of crowd motivation during Mariachi is no longer present.

As is becoming a regular at Hi Fi, the sound mix didn’t settle until about the third song, when Matt’s vocals are equalized, and sit perfectly above the rest of the band. The resonation from Jobby Ford and Ken Home’s guitars are awesome filling up the room and bouncing off the walls. At this point in the set, the crowd are bouncing too, the mosh pit escalated to heights of excessive crowd surfing. Front of stage, the mood has been cemented as solid anarchy takes hold.

Playing all the favorites like Rape Zombie, Shitty Future and White Guilt, by the fourth or fifth song, Matt’s jumping into the pit too, with an on stage assistant holding his mic lead to ensure he doesn’t get cut. With their punk rock insanity pulsing into the night, more croud surfing continues as Matt’s now throwing his own shoes into the audience. Jorma’s precussion is spot on, hard and fast he sets a great pace.

Fantastic performance, not as energetic as they’ve before appeared, but completely entertaining none the less, everyone leaves happy, in anticipation of the next vist.

Review By: Hannah Collins

Venue: The Hi-Fi Brisbane
Artists: The Bronx, Mariachi El Bronx, Numbers Radio
Date: 09 September 2009

Photo Gallery:The Bronx, Numbers Radio and Mariachi El Bronx @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 09 September 2009