Los de Abajo, Islington Academy, London
Sunday 23 October 2005
Even as our Mexican heroes started pumping out their ska, cumbia, salsa and hip-hop mix, an errant elbow sent my pen flying - this audience weren't going to need warming up. And the band barely paused for breath - even the encore was delivered without the customary fuss of exiting the stage, only to come straight back on again. The only other thing you need to know is that they played their cover of the Fun Boy Three's "The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)", which of course is where Neville Staples came in.
I first saw Los de Abajo a couple of years ago in a Croydon park. It started raining then but a dedicated small crowd defiantly remained, bumping umbrellas as they danced. It was also raining as we left the Academy, but nothing could dispel the euphoria of a night which took many back to the celebratory but politically charged era of the Clash and the Specials. They really are that good.
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