From: Pete Fyfe [petefyfe_at_aol_dot_com]

Sent: 29 January 2012 01:46

Subject: Pete Fyfe - Bellowhead Live Review & Photo

Attachments: Bellowhead.jpg


BELLOWHEAD - The Orchard Theatre, Dartford 28.01.12
Dartford is an unforgiving one-way nightmare - let my mate Les Elvin tell you about it sometime. Arriving at The Orchard Theatre just as Bellowhead were starting neither of us were in the best of moods but our frayed tempers were immediately put at ease by the brash delights of the band striking up. This personable eleven-piece don't just effervesce, they EXPLODE like a grenade tossed on an unsuspecting trench piled with extras from Steven Spielberg's "War Horse"! Make no mistake?if you're looking for a night of quaint English ?folk' music you've come to the wrong place. Hard and fast are the rules of engagement and the audience are more than up for the challenge. Not unlike an old style village band?think Lark Rise on steroids?the band infuse instrumental excellence with theatrics not dissimilar to those provided by a ?flash mob' experience - only twice as much fun. Taking a shine to shanties (ideal for the odd spot of reggae) the band's raw treatment of the likes of "Whiskey-O, Johnny-O" and "New York Girls" proved popular favourites alongside a fresh re-working of "Ten Thousand Miles Away" and an unashamed plug for their new, soon to be released album. With grand cinematic-like gestures from John Boden (a bit like the crucifixion scene from Life Of Brian or Peter Finch in Network?only more animated) and released from the constraints of his accompanying fiddle his vocals are ripped from his tonsils with a passion that could inspire a nation to fight it's way out of our current financial crisis. It's rare to see such a response from a sold-out audience of predominantly ?folk' music enthusiasts but the standing ovation was proof that our ?so called' minority music can indeed be played with BALLS. Our friends at Brandywine Music (Keith Stockman & Kevin Tudor) are to be complimented on their choice of upcoming bookings including The Acoustic Strawbs, Jacqui McShee's Pentangle and Heidi Talbot, John McCusker & Boo Hewerdine and if this concert was anything to go by they should be millionaires by the end of the month?we in the ?folk' world salute you both. As a challenge for a one-off special and from a personal point of view how about Bellowhead sharing the bill with Madness and their recent project "The Ballad Of Norton Forgate"? Over to you chaps.