Tijuana Cartel epitomises for me what locals of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast refer to as the Coast lifestyle. An easygoing presence that knows how to have a heckuva lot of fun, more than a little passion and a spiritual base from which all that energy exudes. TC features Paul George’s virtuouso classically latin-inflected acoustic guitar work driven to dance-insanity by Daniel Gonzalez‘ blazing percussion. Carey O’Sullivan runs the keys around the crazy beats and melodies while Regan Hoskins spins discs to make the melange of latin passion and dance club rhythms stew on high boil. Frequent guest performers include DJ Freddie FlyFingaz, Trumpet Player Shannon Van Horn and Adam Dann on Djembe & Darabukka.
I caught them just once at Peregian Originals, a free outdoor concert series held twice a month (thankfully, still, even after some funless locals made a stand against it) behind the Peregian Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Once is just enough to realise it was the most fun I’d had at a live music event in years. I danced myself into a sweaty madness for the nearly hour-long set which featured Persian, and Holiday in Baghdad and a slew of others. So, Australia, rejoice that these guys aren’t so popular yet as to have garnered international attention. ‘Cause once the rest of the world is aware of this band, you won’t be able to keep them to yourself.
As if the demand for their talents isn’t great enough, George and O’Sullivan also front an alter-ego outfit, Audio Shaman, which I’ve seen genrefied as “World Chillout Flamenco Dub“. It’s an inflection of The Coast’s more spiritual side. Think of it as take out some dance and insert some yoga. Sweet chill grooves to float the afternoon away while the surf crashes down under ideal blue skies.