Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Speed violins at Brighton Dome

Saturday night was going to be one of those nights that could have gone either way. I had 2 free tickets for the Budapest Gypsy Orchestra featuring Tcha Limberger and 'speed daemons' Fanfare Ciocarlia. I'd never heard of either of them. And it was raining. And I was only going because my friends didn't want to go to the anti homophobia thing on the beach because it was 'a bit cold'. All in all, it wasn't looking like it was destined to be a Saturday night to remember...

But I called my sister anyway, as we'd been to Budapest recently and that was kind of a link.

So off we went in the drizzle and, well, all I can say is what a magical musical double-header!

Tcha Limberger turned out to be a blind violinist and played the violin so fast I initially thought the dry ice was steam coming from his bow! He was incredible. Tcha hails from a famous family of manouche musicians, steeped in the gypsy jazz legacy of Django Reinhardt. Actually from Belgium, he went to Budapest as a 17 year old, fell in love with the gypsy music and the rest is history. With his hand-picked ensemble of Hungary’s finest gypsy players, they played a rocking set of gypsy, folk and goodness knows what for 40 minutes and it was brilliant!

Still reeling from the speed violins, the second half saw ‘Speed daemons’ Fanfare Ciocarlia take to the stage. Beginning life as a village wedding band in the remote mountains of north-east Romania, today the band are the 2006 winners of BBC Radio 3’s World Music Award for Europe. Described as a fusion of 'dizzying roaring Roma funk and high velocity Eastern European dance music' they also melded gypsy with Latin American beats. Again, whatever you want to call it, it was thrilling. The audience were loving it too and the only thing that spoiled it was the man 2 to my left who kept shouting 'only for you' in a strange pseudo Eastern European accent. It made him look very stupid.

A cracking night - if you get a chance to see either - make sure you go.


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