Link to Living Tradition Homepage





TRIO DHOORE - Momentum

TRIO DHOORE - Momentum
Appel Rekords APR1371

What have the Belgians ever done for us? Okay, apart from the frites, the mussels, the chocolate and hundreds of different beers, what have the Belgians ever done for us? Alright, let's put that another way. With the exception of Edin Hazard and Vincent Kompany, who have the Belgians sent us? And apart from Jacques Brel, Plastic Bertrand and the Smurfs, what have they done for us musically? This hugely enjoyable album demonstrates what they could do for us, given a chance.

The music of Flanders remains a mystery to most of us across the Channel, although it has no further to travel than the familiar sounds of Ireland. Those lucky enough to have caught the Dhoore brothers – Koen, Hartwin and Ward – on the festival circuit last summer raved about their freshness and verve. With a basic line-up of hurdy-gurdy, accordion and guitar, the brothers also share vocals between them to create a sound that is distinctive and energetic.

Not that you would be any the wiser from their label's stab at English language publicity:

“A pure acoustic sound and renewed arrangements are after 3 CDs the trademark of this young blood!” Thankfully, the music translates rather better than that, especially when Koen's hurdy-gurdy is well to the fore.

By their own account, the brothers have spent much of the last year opening themselves up to outside influences and finding ways of blending them with traditional Flemish music. The result is a sound that is already instantly recognisable as their own, but which is somehow pan-European into the bargain. It works best on tracks like Transatlantic Groove and Endless Dancing – terrible titles; great music.

A ten-day hike through Ireland led to a tune called The Wicklow Way, and it is clear that playing in sessions with Irish and other musicians has enriched their approach. Anyone with a feel for this music would be equally keen to share a few tunes with them; you could take them anywhere. Beware though, it's a surprisingly dangerous world to which they signpost us. There is a song about one village that disappeared in a flood – well, if you will live in the Low Countries - and another, The Goderich Tornado, describing freak weather conditions on tour in Canada.

The only point at which it loses me is the last track, a lengthy recitation - in Flemish, naturally. It was only then that I began to feel that there was something being lost in translation.


Dave Hadfield

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 117 of The Living Tradition magazine.