karohemd: by sogoth.livejournal.com (Music)
I got there just after the doors opened and managed to secure my favourite spot in front of the mixer desk. Weirdly, the stage at The Junction is at the long rather than the short side so even if you're at the back in front of the mixer you're close enough to the stage to see all the faces clearly, you have a barrier to lean against and you get the best sound (which was really good and well mixed and balanced).
Bellowhead brought even their own beer called Hedonism (named after their current album) but it had run out sometime after 8 already so I'm glad I got there early because it was quite nice.

By the time the support act (Julie and Johnny? something like that), the Junction was quite packed and warm already so when they sang glumly and boringly on stage, I almost fell asleep twice. They weren't bad, just not exciting in any way. They also looked not very confident.

After a short stage reset, Bellowhead took the stage and what a difference that was, and not just because there were eleven of them. Yep, eleven, pretty much filling the stage of the Junction. Bellowhead are basically a large folk outfit (various fiddles, guitar/other strings, drums) plus a four-piece horn section (trumpet, trombone, sax, tuba/susaphone) which is responsible for their unique sound and style.
It's not all straight folk, either, there are lots of crossover elements from gypsy to funk and jazz. Hearing someone play a bouzouki through a Wah-Wah pedal is quite something. ;o) There was a great variety in speed, too, from atmospheric ballads to all-out pelters with everyone jumping around the stage like mad monkeys.

In short, about 90 minutes of nonstop energy, music and banter. The band members aren't just excellent musicians but actors, too. I had a fantastic time and it took me several hours to come down from that high.

There should be more great gigs like that in Cambridge (or at least bands I want to see), I love being able to be back home well before midnight, especially on a weeknight.

September 2017

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