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Czech Band Mydy Rabycad at the Henley Festival, reviewed by Ian Mole

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It seemed a difficult task at first. A young band from the Czech Republic playing their first U.K. gig and trying to win over an audience – with an average age of about sixty – who’d almost certainly never heard their music before. Also, Mydy Rabycad are a dance band and this was an all-seater…

Ian Mole | July 15, 2015
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Review of Mydy Rabycad’s ‘Glamtronic’, by Ian Mole

Mydy Rabycad are a four piece group from Prague who describe themselves as an electroswing dance band: a good way to encapsulate their sound. Nero Scartch on drums and keyboards is the mainstay of the band, co-writing the music for ten out of the eleven songs here,  as well as writing the lyrics for three…

Ian Mole | June 8, 2015
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‘Hungarian Musical Life in the Shadow of Nazism’, reviewed by Nick Barlay

‘It’s not pretty,’ says Ágnes Kőry, Hungarian-born musician, teacher and researcher in historical musicology, to open her talk marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Hungarian Cultural Centre. ‘It’s not a happy story but it must be told.’ The story in question relates to Jewish musicians during that uncertain, troubled and ultimately murderous period of Hungary’s…

Nick Barlay | April 25, 2015

‘Paris of the East: An Evening of French and Romanian Songs’, reviewed by Camelia Ciobanu

The Romanian Cultural Institute London  has just celebrated the International Week of the Francophonie, an organization that recognizes 57 countries affiliated with French culture, either through having French as mother tongue or through cultural and historical ties. Together with the newly born Rimbaud &Verlaine Foundation  in London, the ICR  put together an evening of poetry…

Camelia Ciobanu | March 31, 2015
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‘Fanfare Ciocarlia’ at Koko Camden reviewed by Depo Olukotun

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Comically large tubas, the wailing wah-wah of trumpets and an exuberant crowd with their hands in the air, it sounded and looked like the circus had come to town. Close, but not quite, it was Fanfare Ciocarlia that had come to Koko Camden. Fanfare Ciocarlia,  a Romanian brass ensemble, basking unashamedly in pure showmanship oblivious…

Depo Olukotun | March 22, 2015
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Gypsy Fever at the Hootananny Brixton, reviewed by Depo Olukotun

The country that was Yugoslavia might not exist anymore but it lives on in the hearts of some.  Katarina Gadjanski and other “ex-Yugoslavians” who came to see her ensemble The Gypsy Fever Quartet at the Hootananny Brixton proved the case, on what would have otherwise been just another Wednesday night. Gadjanski took a packed house…

Depo Olukotun | March 3, 2015

Lenka Dusilová and Baromantika at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, reviewed by Jana Gajdosova

On January 29th at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, Czech singer Lenka Dusilová and her band Baromantika tantalised those unfamiliar with her music,  while delivering considerable satisfaction to her loyal Czech fans. Dusilová, who arrived with her newborn baby, has performed solo acts in London before,  but this was the first time that she…

Jana Gajdosova | February 11, 2015
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‘Viv McLean & David LePage play Bartók’, reviewed by Natasha Berger

The 20th century’s great musical maverick and forerunner of our sampling, appropriating, multicultural world, Béla Bartók may well be the hippest composer in the canon. The first to synthesize the folk elements of his native Hungary with the avant-garde of his day, he was also a kind of proto-ethnomusicologist, collecting and transcribing music from remote…

Natasha Berger | February 5, 2015
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Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the Royal Festival Hall, reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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The story of Bluebeard, popularised by the French writer Charles Perrault in his 1659 version, is among the oldest and best-known European folk tales. It differs from telling to telling, but invariably revolves around the arrival of a young bride at the home of her mysterious older husband, and the discovery of the murdered corpses…

Jonathan Karstadt | February 3, 2015