WHAT links Morrissey and Mexico? According to Camilo Lara, the founder of an increasing popular group covering the songs of the The Smiths icon in a traditional mariachi style, the answer is a lot.

The Mexican band have previously said that they feel Morrissey embodies the same “underdog spirit” that is familiar to their compatriots, and Lara reiterates the ideological similarities between the two entities before a Brighton show.

“Both mariachi music and The Smiths talk about everyday things. They are both dramatic and tragic,” says the bandleader. “Morrissey’s music is the perfect companion for outsiders, for those who never succeed. We Mexicans tick those boxes.”

While songs like Everyday Is Like Sunday and How Soon Is Now? immediately appealed to Lara growing up – just as they do to many teenagers battling with identity crises and struggling to find a place in the world - he insists that the same is true of his country at large.

“Morrissey’s lyrics have real meaning to me, and it seems to many other Mexicans too,” he says. “When I started listening to The Smiths I felt someone far away was feeling the same as me.” Lara’s claims are backed up by the sheer amount of Morrissey-themed events and parties across Mexico – “Morrissey-Oke” nights are fairly commonplace in city centres.

As a diehard Smiths fan, Lara doesn’t need telling that Morrissey obsessives can be very precious and protective of their idol. You might expect this to be the case in The Smiths’ native Manchester, but less so in Mexico – but Lara has still run into a few problems.

“Some Mexicans were pretty upset that we were messing around with those much-loved songs, but some other fans across the globe were more excited because they don’t have the same prejudices. In general, though, I think hardcore fans like it. Morrissey’s music belongs to everyone. He is part of the popular culture of our times.”

No Manchester, the group’s first album, was released in March last year, and Mexrrissey received a spate of positive live reviews from the UK press. In general the public here have taken warmly to the band, but then in this country we mostly recognise the stories of mundane British life that Morrissey sings of. How can Mexican fans – including the members of Mexrrissey themselves – relate to this quintessentially British appeal?

“What I did was imagine Morrissey living in Mexico City and inserted references more specific to our culture. Our cursing, our pop icons, our drug lords... it has the flavour of the Mexico City streets.”

At the same time, the group clearly make an effort to channel the authenticity of The Smiths’ Manchester aesthetic. The video for their cover of Everyday Is Like Sunday is shot inside the Salford Lads Club that The Smiths made famous in an iconic photoshoot.

“We didn’t think about that at all, really,” says Lara. “We were in Manchester and we had time to do a video, so we picked the club as a location. It was just a snapshot of where we were at that time.” In general, Lara says he is surprised by the popularity of his band on these shores and uses a neat analogy to portray how “crazy” it is.

“It’s like selling tacos to Mexicans. It’s always going to be hard to sell back fish and chips to you guys.” Metaphorically speaking, they are managing to do just that at the moment. It would be remiss not to ask Lara his favourite Morrissey-based song by way of conclusion, and his answer is as expressive as his music.

“I could dance for hours to How Soon Is Now?. It’s a generational anthem. It makes people hug and kiss. It’s a sonic tattoo to all of us.”

Mexrrissey, Brighton Dome, Thursday, January 26, 8pm, £16.50, 01273 709709