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Private Label  EVENINGSTAR1

A new Eurofolk supergroup.  The brainchild of Blowzabella's Paul James, it contains some seriously first-division musicians: Luke Daniels (button accordion), Patrick Bouffard (hurdy-gurdy) of La Chavannée, from Spain's La Musgaña comes Carlos Beceiro (guitar, bass), Gigi Biolcoti (who I think I remember seeing with Ricardo Tesi's Banditalia) is responsible for drums, thumb piano, voice and finally, Victor Nicholls (bass, electric guitar, electronics, tuba).  Phew!

Unsurprisingly there are influences from all over and although it may be said that their range is too diverse for one outfit, in the folk/world scene people like to consider they have more open ears than in many other. So as well as bits of driving dance music, there is some languid laid back material. At times it sounds French, Spanish, Italian, African, free jazz and some pieces are even interrupted by what sounds like good old-fashioned Frippertronics (perhaps the naming of the band after one of Fripp & Eno’s albums is no coincidence?). It's edgy, mellow, virtuosic, simple, considered, experimental - see what I mean?  There's only one track where virtuosity triumphs at the expense of music, and where the band seem to be struggling to keep together.  As it says the album was recorded "in France, Italy, Spain and England" one wonders whether they had actually all played together before the album was recorded!

A lot to take in at one hearing, it definitely grows on you and is an album full of excitement and interest. A band to be reckoned with and a name to look out for.  So where are they performing next?  International folk festivals?  Glastonbury?  Womad?  No – a series of dates in village halls in Leicestershire and Worcestershire.  Fair play - I’m off to get my ticket.

Paul Burgess

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This album was reviewed in Issue 88 of The Living Tradition magazine.