It's a Friday night at the local Settler's Tav. A lively crowd of people buzz around the room, many clutching bright orange tickets. Enter: one DJ, pushing buttons and looking out blankly at the bar where 'everyone' stands, drinking and talking loudly.
No, what? Please exit, DJ, we're all here waiting for Tijuana Cartel!
I myself have not even heard one song from this band before, but on a recommendation, Tom and I are here, and actually, we have a friend. (She ends up leaving us and bailing on the gig two songs in, but that's irrelevant - we now officially know someone other than my rellies in Margaret River).
Despite our tickets stating that Tijuana Cartel will be playing at nine PM, it's now ten and we're showing the signs of impatience. Looking around awkwardly, sipping drinks ferociously until they're drained, and then eating the ice... you know. The poor DJ leaves the stage for a moment, and suddenly people are by the stage, jigging about to whatever track he's left on...
A guy in a beanie lifts his arms in the air before doing a little air punching; a girl with scruffy long hair takes some dancy kind of strides with her legs high in the air and her neck jutting in and out to the beat - oh, like an ostrich, I'd say.
And then there is this splendorous woman - short, in her thirties, looking like she stepped out of the 70s with her blue and white paisley patterned body-con dress. She has a wild afro-like mane, and man she is not holding back as she claims her own patch of carpet with some dangerous hair flicking and hip thrusting. With her fiesty attitude clear in facial expressions that I can only describe as very similar to the picture below -
Photo source: here
- she is 'the life of the party'; she probably could've even worn a sash and no one would've disagreed.
Finally, just before ten-thirty hits, there are instruments on stage and five guys to hold them. One of these guys is, amazingly enough, the DJ. They get to it, asking the crowd if they're ready to party with them tonight, and heck yes we are. With a guitar, trumpet, bongo drums, and whatever electronics the DJ is rockin' with, T.C. kick up a Latin inspired rhythm that gets the crowd swinging their hips and swaying their arms in beautifully natural movements.
As this occurs around me, I'm sort of swaying on the spot and wondering how to join in. See, my style of dancing is, as Tom puts it, "violent". He says he can spot me on the dance floor by looking for what seems to be a bar fight - lots of "flailing limbs".
And tonight I'm stuck - the purely instrumental songs are just too sexy and exotic to be accidently butting people with my elbows.
So suddenly, I'm trying to call in the curves that I often like to ignore in all their outrageous femininity, and I'm busting some shaky moves that I've never busted before. I'm a little awkward with my feet, trying to do some sort of salsa step that makes my shoes slip off; but otherwise, I've got some funky hand movements, and a whole lot of sexy hip swaying. I've definitely got this! Tom immediately grabs my hand.
Just as I'm comfortable, vocals kick in...
"I said ladaaaay....
You've got to riiise up
(I said-ah rise-ah rise-ah rise)"
and soon after that, some rapping bumps up the set. In a split second, people are jumping up and down and all over the place like they just crossed the border into Mosh City. There's still a bit of Latin swaying in the arms, and that crazy lady is still all disco booty, but the vibe is really different to how it started, and it kind of feels like an all night rave, but with more exotic tones and no glowsticks.
DJ man, on the left
Tom begins to finds his groove a lot easier with the beats being thrown out strong and fast, and he's actually, honestly, dancing. A very rare moment; only the second I've ever witnessed in my time dating him. Sure he's throwing himself around like one usually would to heavy metal music, and he almost bowls over a tall gentleman standing in front of us, but he's grinning and not caring what he looks like, and that is awesome. I look at DJ man, and he's gotten creative - giving the music some quirky sounds by blowing into a tube that's attached to his equipment.
Rapper, centre stage
The guy rapping on vocals centre-stage is amusing to watch; he's muscular, with a cap on, and wears a pretty stern expression at times which greatly adds to the interest in his own dance moves. He stands to one side, with a frown and pout face directed at us, and swings his arms strongly in front of him as he leans back. Comical for sure, but not so much that it interferes with the idea of the band simply thriving on their sounds. Tijuana Cartel are brilliantly enthusiastic artists, and once you've even slightly discovered the art of letting your hips direct your dancing, I can guarantee you're going to have a lot of fun.
If you like, you can check out one of their YouTube vids - featuring one of the slower sort of songs - here:
Outfit of the
So! With my review over, this is what I wore...a jeans and layered top combo, complete with a last minute
That stringy vest thing you see was once a plain black tee, until I got bored and cut it up.
That's all I got for now, hope you enjoyed the music!