Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

Dionysos are a six-piece, six-album rock band hailing from the Rhône-Alpes région in south-west France, one of the country’s 27 regional jigsaw pieces. The band hit homeland fame with their first major label record release entitled Haiku (Coccinelle video here). It is for two reasons that Dionysos are special: their eccentricity and their linguistic abilities.

To illustrate the first point, Dionysos have songs in their locker called bizarre things like Le Roi en pyjama [The King in pyjamas] … L’homme qui pondait des œufs [the man who lays eggs] and Le retour de Bloody Betty [the return of Bloody Betty]. Secondly, the act fronted by Mathias Malzieu write and sing in both French and English. How many English bands can reciprocate?

A particular song I have chosen to extract from the Dionysos catalogue is called Thank you Satan. Taken from the group’s Whatever the Weather: Electrique album (2003), Thank you Satan is a romp of a tune that grows in force towards an eventual blunderbuss impact. A ukulele – overlaid with Élisabeth Maistre‘s soothing voice – provides an alluring yet harmless opening, only to be replaced by feathery violin strings and Malzieu’s pitch-perfect vocals. Later a baritone guitar begins the devastating march towards the end.

 

Dionysos (named after the Greek god of wine, theatre & ecstasy) certainly instill ritual madness in the listener with this frenzy of strings and percussions. More infectious than a supervirus…

Another reason I like this song is because of the Leo Ferre album hommage on the YouTube video which recalls the album art of The Futureheads – News & Tributes. Oh and the lyrics, which can be viewed here underneath the clip, are fantastic. References to the Bastille, Mr Mozart, Chateau Margaux and mon préféré – “the laughter of skulls”.

Walking to this evening’s venue a concerned policeman can be seen sniffing suspiciously around one of the many shady backstreets within the vicinity of Clyde Street, Leicester. Unbeknown to him, a crime was being committed just round the corner at The Musician where a less than 10% capacity crowd had descended to watch a stellar mid-week line-up of raw local talent.

Understandably hesitant initially, Theo Miller grows visibly in stature towards the end of his stage-warming set. Theo’s intelligence shines through in his acoustic repertoire, his comical rhyming couplets coming to the fore on Plans. His lyrical prowess on the likes of Forgive & Forget has won him fans, and a competition: to perform a support slot for Joan Armatrading at De Montfort Hall in November on her 40th anniversary. Fitting is it then, that he departs with Letters, a song about song-writing.

Last time Rosie Doyle entertained at The Musician she was afflicted with a broken string. On this occasion it’s a woefully-tuned top E string and a cold. Despite the mishaps, Rosie adds valuable impetus to the plucking stakes here, epitomised in the skippy number Yellow Brick Road. Her time will come.

Fay Brotherhood – a bizarre meeting of Boudicca versus Cavegirl, bashing out her Pagan-influenced traditional folk. Photo: Steven Seniw/Kicha Media

Fay Brotherhood’s time is already upon us. Born into a blues-loving family based in Coalville, Fay begs to be different. Aesthetically, she is a bizarre meeting [photo left] of Boudicca versus Cavegirl with her dreadlocks and crafty attire. Musically, her traditional folk interpretations of local legends [Black Annis] and battles [Blue Spiral Screams] make for fascinating listening. Combined with Lee Burns’ violin & electric mandolin, Fay’s music accurately recreates rousing Gaelic tones. Chalk Horses for instance is a galloping romp influenced by stone circles and a certain Pagan festival. Lowlands of Holland is another with an ethereal edge. With a name for fame and the conviction to match, now is a great time to Follow the Falcon and join the Brotherhood.

Sporting a “Drink Coca Cola” t-shirt, headline act Chris Ostler climbs to the stage opting, somewhat surprisingly, for a stool. In energising fashion, as if he’d drunken 10 litres of the caffeine-packed drink, Chris’ strumming arm sets off like a piston. Lamplights is the pinnacle of his intermittently emotional set, featuring a beautifully whistled intro. Bullet from Heaven is another highlight, inspired by his Grandad’s participation in World War II. Evidently an accomplished musician, Chris is firmly in the ilk of Ed Sheeran. Also touring with Joan Armatrading in the winter, 2012 promises to be a memorable year for Chris.

And so the evening closes, the buzz dies down and our thanks go to The Musician and promoters Horus Music Ltd for greatly enriching our musical education.

Read more of the release: http://www.horusmusic.co.uk/acoustic-session-on-wednesday-21st-march-2012/

Published by The Monograph.

Fay Brotherhood is a unique soul whom charts Pagan & Celtic influences for her traditional folk outfit. Take this song for example: her soundtrack to Boudicca’s supposed final skirmish in the Battle of Watling Street, which took place near Mancetter on the Warwickshire-Leicestershire boundary. Drawn from her second album Follow the Falcon, Blue Spiral Screams is a mystical track that perfectly captures the uncertainty that must have been engrained in the minds of Boudicca’s army. 

 

Free listening to Fay’s ethereal debut Whispers in the Boughs produced in 2003.

 

For more about Fayhttp://www.faybrotherhood.com/

Elvis Perkins in Dearland make quite the marching band. Complete with pounding drum and erupting brass, Doomsday is a triumphant racket! That’s one cracking sweater vest Perkins has donned incidentally. Why approximately zilch is known of Elvis et al in the UK is a mystery.

Maybe we should petition the BBC to invite the Rhode Island-formed act onto our British television screens? Any coveted slot on Later Live would surely propel Elvis on upwards to stardom. 

Now that Perkins plays solo, Elvis’ backing band have gone on to form a rather special cult known as Diamond Doves

 

Live this second over on BBC Radio 2 and Red Button is the 13th renewal of the Folk Awards. An unlucky number perhaps for some, but not for Bellowhead who are aiming to win their 6th Best Live Act title in 8 years. The maverick eleven-tet are also in the hat for their 3rd Best Group gong, to add to victories in 2007 and 2011. Lead vocalist and fiddler Jon Boden is up for his 2nd Best Folk Singer award, to clunk alongside two Best Duo awards he previously won with fellow Bellowheader melodean John Spiers. Hedonism will surely accompany an awards whitewash!

Completing the list for the coveted Best Folk Singer are June Tabor (and/of Oysterband), Jackie Oates & Emily Smith.

Tonight’s ceremony is being graced by performances from Seth Lakeman, regulars The Unthanks and later on – The Dubliners! Along with American Pie-artist Don McLean, the Irish aces will receive a Lifetime Achievement award to commemorate a marvellous 50 years in the business. Hearty renditions of Whiskey In The Jar, Wild Rover & Dirty Old Town down the years have injected the nation’s bloodstreams with nothing but warmth, thus the award is richly deserved.

An extra celebration of their half century service comes in a special programme entitled The Rocky Road From Dublin. Listen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01blk01/The_Rocky_Road_From_Dublin_50_Years_of_The_Dubliners/