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The Giddy Gringos - Yumbambe


Maintaining the spice of Monday’s selection, Far Out’s tune for Tuesday comes from the unsigned Giddy Gringos, a 13-piece Latin-Salsa-Boogaloo band born in the most unlikely of backdrops. Their wonderful cover of Poncho Sanchez’s classic Yumbambe is our track of the day.


Hailing from Greater Manchester and, to be more specific, the once illustrious now downbeat industrial hills of Oldham the Giddy Gringos couldn’t be further away from the sun kissed, fruit baring landscapes that Poncho Sanchez and his peers once prowled, soaked-up and then projected into the terrific percussive masterpieces the Mexican, Latin Jazz band leading legend has released over the years. Yet, judging from their stage camaraderie and delightful salsa sound it’s clear the Gringos are blissfully unaware of such geographical differences and, if anybody has bothered to say so, then the subject has been brushed aside with a mischievous shake of the maraca, almighty clang of the cow bell and a colourful explosion of fancy keys, unisex harmonies and conga and horn solos that not only add much needed flavour to a musically bleak Oldham palette but are that impressive, I’m sure,  Mr Sanchez himself would give a tip of the hat to.

The Giddy Gringo’s version of this ultimate carnival atmosphere creation matches that of Sanchez’s on several other levels: The structure and the tempo is orchestrated very similarly, as mentioned the percussion and solos are almost identical in sound and skill and we are even treated to mirrored Latino lyrics but there is something about this bunch of fun loving Northerners and their delivery that further emphasises the bold salsa spirit and, for me, gives their version the edge… Never has a band name been so apt!

If you can catch the Giddy Gringos and their set of infectious, hip twisting Boogaloo tunes at this year’s Kendal Calling festival then you wouldn’t be let down, in fact I’d go as far to say you’d feel a whole lot better for it.

Joshua Hevicon