CALEXICO World Drifts In: Live At The Barbican, London (Quarterstick) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Considering the important influence that Mexican mariachi music has had on Calexico's last three recordings, putting on a show with their studio collaborators Mariachi Luz de Luna seems like a no-brainer. Only the logistics and economics involved have made it difficult to stage such an event. But England's Further Beyond Nashville Festival made it all possible in November 2002, and, luckily, someone had the foresight to hire a professional camera crew to document the 90-minute performance at London's Barbican Theatre for the World Drifts In DVD.
It's beautifully shot and sounds magnificent, although Calexico frontman by default Joey Burns seems unusually tense and strangely out of sorts. The energy level gets kicked up a notch when charismatic Mariachi Luz de Luna leader Ruben Moreno steps forward to passionately croon Los Lobos' Cancion Del Mariachi, but it's diminutive singer/violinist Lulu Olivares who steals the show with a heart-stopping swoop through the classic ranchera Aires Del Mayab.
In addition to the show footage, there's a further hour of bonus material: documentaries about mariachi music and the making of the Feast Of Wire album along with an arty tour montage, extra interview footage, an animated short and three rarely shown video clips, all of which make it a must-see for Calexico fans.