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Juan Love

‘A great scribe once wrote, “If music be the food of love, then eat some chillies”. Or something like that. And quite frankly if he didn’t, he ought to have.

But while to some people a fiery jalapeno-stuffed chimichanga may not be the most obvious aphrodisiac, surely nobody can doubt the heart-melting romance of the music from the land of said food – Mariachi.

Let’s face it, in the world of audio romance, there are 3 basic choices; Barry White, Marvin Gaye or Mariachi. But while the first 2 have slipped this mortal coil and are now serenading the angels, there has never been a better or easier time to find a mariachi band who will be your musical mouthpiece in telling your beloved all you want to tell her, in the language of music, in real living 3D.

We have serenaded countless loved ones, both male and female (and once to a dog – “How Much is That Doggy in the Window”) – over the years, sometimes requested, sometimes because it felt right at the time, but always with the result that we left two romantically-smitten loved ones staring wistfully into each others eyes (OK the dog was the exception there. But then again another request that night was The Goodies’ Funky Gibbon, so all in all not a typical event for us). And our somewhat portly frames, our rather dubious national heritage, and our is-it-or-isn’t-it-real facial hair aside, we think we’re pretty darn good at delivering a message straight from the heart and being confident of scoring the bulls-eye.

Take David who decided that a serenade from us would be the perfect way to propose to Becky – now, the beautiful grounds of the Grove Hotel in Chandler’s Cross, beautifully bathed in the glorious midsummer evening sun may have contributed – the surprise watching-on of Hollywood A-lister and part-time Wolf Thing Mr Hugh Jackman may possibly have cast a ‘this-was-meant-to-be’ fluffy duvet over the moment – but the lilting melody of our Mariachi version of “All My Life”, the K-Ci and Jojo love-fest, sealed the deal. He asked, she affirmed, and our job was done.

Of course, romance should be a year-long occurrence – this world needs its share of love we all know that, but this week, with Cupid poised with his arrow, young and older lovers everywhere will be putting their faith in that most amorous of saints, Valentine, and shaping up for the big day. And while roses, champagne, oysters and dancing may be the traditional prerequisites for a successful Valentine’s evening, Mariachi is fast becoming the next Big Thing for the 14th. Whether traditional Mexican love songs or, as we excel in – a Mariachi version of “your” song, be it Bruno’s “Think I Wanna Marry You” or Robbie’s “Angels”, or in that rarest of occasions “How Much is That Doggy in the Window”, we think that the music of Mariachi is the music of Love.

And don’t take my word for it, someone up there agrees. A few Valentine’s nights ago we performed at the top of Millbank Tower, one of London’s highest riverside buildings. As we finished our set, a hurricane struck. With the windows (indeed it felt the whole building) shaking, we began the struggle home. A fallen tree blocked the train line – no route that way. Taxi drivers shut down for the night – too dangerous to drive. We were stranded. And I’m pretty sure this was no ordinary natural phenomenon – we were needed. Lovers needed us. And we weren’t going to be allowed to go home just yet.

So there you have it. It’s an indisputable truth, decided by far higher agents than us. Valentine’s Day needs Mariachi. And we'll shout a rose-scented “Areeba!” to that sentiment.

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