How Cafe Tacuba sprained my ankle


This is probably the least exciting location from which I have filed a dispatch.

My sofa, in my third-floor apartment, my snowball-like foot propped up on a couple of cushions as I look out onto the cloudy Mexico City panorama this morning. What happened? Well, it’s all Cafe Tacuba’s fault really.

I interviewed two of the members – Meme and Quique – of one of Mexico’s most successful rock bands early Saturday evening at the Foro Sol, one of the city’s biggest venues with a capacity of 55,000.

Emmanuel "Meme" del Real Díaz and Enrique ‘Quique’ Rangel Arroyo were both really nervous, as they were about to step out in front of their massive home town audience for a marathon four hour set.

Anyway, it’s always a buzz interviewing creative and passionate people, so I was set for the gig which started at 8 pm. The atmosphere was intoxicating, and not just because of the beers and the mixers being sold by waiters passing continuously through the crowds.

Cafe Tacuba are from Mexico City and – as is evident from the sold-out show – loved by Mexico City. They still live here and that in part contributes to the "chilango-ness" of their sound. But more to come of that later in a interview with the band, which I’m still editing.

The band came on at around 8:30 pm to chants of pa pa pa pa weyeweyooooo, which is from the song el baile y el salon” (hear it here).

The energy that they put into the show was incredible, with vocalist Rubén Isaac Albarrán Ortega, who currently goes by the name of "Ixaya Mazatzin Tleyotl" (he changes his name for every album) wheeling around like a spinning top, his long curly hair spinning out around him like a skirt. And when he wasn’t spinning he was jumping, or running, or dancing.

Standing in a crowd of 55,000 bouncing Chilangos (what they call "Londoners" or "Angelinos" here in Mexico City – the city natives) is no small thing, and the song "Chilangabanda" ("banda" means gang) had special meaning.

Which explains why I was hopping and skipping my way to the toilets. I was elated. Too elated. My ankle gave way, and I fell to my knees. Even after a few beers, the pain was excruciating.

Which brings me back to why I am filing this dispatch from my sofa.

Pinche Cafe Tacuba.