Star rating - 7/10
Seeing Calexico play live for the first time at the Ritz this week, the disparate styles that make up their music were much in evidence. The Arizona based band seem to have soaked up lots of different musical influences and not decided which ones they like best, so kept them all.
They do play some beautiful catching soul soaring songs like Inspiracion, with its lovely Spanish vibe and great trumpet part. And Sinner In the Sea from their latest album Algiers is also a really inspirational tune. But they swing quickly, and a bit schizophrenically, from these more upbeat numbers to slower, dirge like songs, and then into the realms of rock band guitar playing. Whilst Joey Burns and John Convertino may be the driving force of the group, when ace trumpet player and vocalist Jacob Valenzuela featured, they truly shone.
Splitter was also lovely but the evening was a bit uneven in tone, in part possibly a reflection of an uneven album. They did a brilliant cover of Love's Alone Again Or, and got the crowd tapping their toes and clapping along enthusiastically to Guero Canelo, only to follow it up with a really odd, downbeat ending to the evening.