Os Mutantes (The Mutants) have come the long way to the Enmore Theatre. Since their beginnings in 1966, in the era of cultural repression that followed Brazil’s conservative military coup d’état, the group has had an almost constantly fluid line up, faced censorship, escaped exile, battled with drug addiction, and seen albums held from release for decades due to disputes with record labels. Despite these foibles, and after nearly 40 years, the group remain one of the most diverse, experimental, and influential groups to emerge from the musical milieu of Sao Paolo, Brazil’s largest city (also the largest in the Southern Hemisphere). Their unique brand of psychedelia, a genre-bending musical movement known as Tropicalia, has earned them a cult-like status among musicians today (with fans from Kurt Cobain to Beck to David Byrne). Perhaps it is the unrelenting experimentation and unflinchingly political element to their eclectic discography and fabled live shows that has kept the band alive and well in the minds of their strong fan base during their 28 year hiatus (from 1978 to 2006’s performance at London’s Barbican Arts Centre). “We are all political beings, some more active, others more aware, but to be living in this small crazy planet you have to be a damn good politician,” says current front man and founding member Sergio Dias. The group’s reunion tour, which kicked off on Sunday at Perth’s International Arts Festival, is a much anticipated and all too brief turn around our shores. The diversity of their music, thumbing of authority and convention, and outlandish costumes favoured by the group ensure that this is a live show not to be missed. Supported by LA’s low-fi surf rock trio Best Coast, touring their debut LP Crazy for You, Os Mutantes are a band with a message. “As days go by, the Earth gets smaller and smaller, so there will be a time soon, that we will have to unlock our doors for each country and neighbour’s needs, or we will end as Einstein predicted, hitting each other with Sticks and Stones.” Feel the love at the Enmore Theatre, Wednesday March 9th.
Mar 9, 7pm, Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Enmore, $68.50+BF, 9550 3666, ticketek.com.au