Monday, December 29, 2014


In the early 1990's there once was a French band named Mano Negra...The Black Hand....
They never managed to cross over into the English speaking market but fora few years they were the one of the best rap/rock/ska punk/fusion units on the planet. The core of the band was Manu Chao, his brother Antoine and their cousin, Santiago Casariego. They were originally from Barcelona and they were totally, passionately and radically political. Totally out of the mainstream, they managed to sell millions of records and embarked on epic adventures through out Latin and South America. There last tour was chronicled by Ramon Chao,  Antoine and Mano's father, in his book, Train of Ice and Fire. You might have seen a few posts on this blog about Manu Chao, who has continued his career as a political activist and musician to this day. He is currently in Argentina organising against Monsanto and working with South American artists. The video above is from a tour of Central America in 1992 and the location is Havana, Cuba! Great song and the performance stands alone. They were one of the best bands anywhere at the time. Manu Chao was and is a great performer. The lyrics of this song, Killin Rats are more relevant today even than they were in 1992!

There's a place in the city
Just down by the River
All the Rats went crazy
Got fangs made of Silver

They're cruisin downtown
Their eyes full of anger
If they can't hurt you
They will find another

They will shotdown your father
They will spit on your mother
Rape browny girl
& slaughter your brother
Killin' Rats
Thoses Rats need a SCRATCH!

All you Real cool cats
Put yourself together
Got them Back to their
Before they make you surrender
Old cats they quiver!!
Cause it makes them remember
About a long time ago
When they fought Rats father

Was a Rat called Hitler
Set the world on fire
This is no fare game
They wanna do it again

Here's a video Manu made in 2007 with the brilliant Serbian director Emir Kustarica.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am always taken back a little when I see the term "kill the rats" expressed! ha ha ha ha ha the rat