Friday, November 15, 2013

Bellowhead at Bedford Corn Exchange

15 November 2013

As I wrote here in February 2009, “you can’t beat a band that dances to its own tunes”. That band was the amazing English folk big band, Bellowhead (who I have also written about here in October 2006, July 2008 and October 2010). I am pleased to report that they are still dancing and their infectious enthusiasm is still whipping audiences into a frenzy. On Thursday night I was among a standing audience of over 1000 people in the cavernous  Bedford Corn Exchange to see a stunning performance by Bellowhead. About to celebrate their tenth anniversary, Bellowhead have always been a very slick band, mixing inspired lunacy and chaos with strict rhythmic precision. Many of the eleven members of the band play multiple instruments and all participate in dance moves clearly derived from Morris traditions. The mix of musicians from folk, jazz and classical background and the unusual instrumentation (including fiddles, cello, oboe, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, helicon, bagpipes, melodeon and concertina) make for a unique signature sound. Bellowhead rarely put a foot wrong and seem to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Go and see them live if you get the chance – they are truly brilliant.

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