American group Los Straitjackets need to be seen to be believed. One of the best instrumental surf bands around, they were the pioneers of wearing the “Lucha Libre” Mexican wrestling masks when the band formed in the 80s. Their quirky stage show includes them introducing songs in fast, badly accented Spanish. The LuWOW tiki bar in Fitzroy was the perfect setting for the band.
This tour saw them bring along a singer, Big Sandy, to sing us some Spanish versions of popular songs. His name was matched by his huge personality, charming the audience and sampling their drinks.
The band did a mixture of their own songs and covers. A highlight of the evening, for me, was Straitjackets rendition of the little known Beatles instrumental “Cry For a Shadow”.
Support act George Kamikawa was a suprise. His interpretation of blues songs using traditional Japanese instruments including the Shamisen and taiko drums was something to behold. Chatting to Pete Curry, (bass player from Los Straitjackets) he told me “I’ve been everywhere and thought I’d seen everything, but I’ve never seen anything like this!“. Kamikawa taught the audience to toast in Japanese (kanpai!) and made sure we were all drinking enough to keep up after every song.
Don’t miss Los Straitjackets next time they come to Australia, you won’t be disappointed!
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