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Live Review: Tijuana Cartel, Carey O'Sullivan

8 July 2013 | 12:49 pm | Renee Jones

To anyone who missed their numerous shows in Western Australia this week, get along next time. You will not be disappointed.

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Tijuana Cartel's unique world sound took Mojos by storm, with every second of their set giving life to uncontrollable dancing from the enthusiastic and intrigued audience.

The bar was buzzing with excitement, and a little dancefloor tension during a DJ set from Tijuana Cartel's keyboardist Carey O'Sullivan. In what could be deemed Step Up 6: Mojos edition, a few incredibly passionate and well-rehearsed dancers threw down on the Mojos dance loor, with the potential for a cheesy, lovey-dovey storyline to be tossed into the midst. However, before this real-life love story could eventuate, Tijuana Cartel began their diverse, passionate and immaculate set.

For those who haven't experienced the multi-layered, world-inspired sound of Tijuana Cartel, you are missing out on something wonderful. Their unique sound is made of melodic flamenco guitar, raw vocals and Cuban percussion, fused with modern electronica. Their set moved swiftly between tracks with a definitive Indian influence, to tracks fit for Salsa dancing – all of which displayed a beat worthy of moving to. Letting It Go featured during their set and allowed the electronic element of their music to shine through. While Run Away, a song with a less up-beat vibe, still had the crowd dancing in the craziest of fashions, as much as crowd favourite White Dove did. The band also played some new songs, one of which was Still Fighting. The song had a lighter, more airy feel to it than the other songs in Tijuana Cartel's repertoire, but it was well received nonetheless.

There is a visible and audible musical bond between vocalist and guitarist Paul George, percussionist extraordinaire Danny Gonzalez and keyboardist/electronic production whiz and guitarist Carey O'Sullivan; a bond that translates to melodic, inspiring tracks and a live show full of passion. Every single member of the audience was dancing in their own way to the music, whether it be putting their primary school dance lessons to good use with a partner, grooving along solo to the music or dancing so uncoordinatedly that it became beautiful to watch.

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Midway through their set, Gonzalez poured a bottle of water over his pristine set of bongo drums, before creating a water feature of sorts as he struck his drums with his drumsticks. Playing along with him were some 'invisible bongo' players in the audience, who seemed to be enjoying their invisible instruments as much as Gonzalez was enjoying his own drums (and cowbell).

There was little to fault in Tijuana Cartel's set. The sound was immaculate, the atmosphere was sensual, alive and wonderful, and the display of passion and diversity among their set was captivating. The band ended with gratitude to everyone who had attended, but were soon coaxed back on stage to play two surprise songs after the usual chant for “one more”. To anyone who missed their numerous shows in Western Australia this week, get along next time. You will not be disappointed.