Bellowhead and Belshazzar’s Feast – 20th October 2009 @ The Waterfront, Norwich
(Thought I might give the whole gig review thing a try..)
I’d planned to go to this concert for quite a few months, and even due to circumstances changing (as mentioned in a previous post) I still decided not to waste the £17 ticket and go anyway. Which I’m glad I did. After waiting for about an hour for the doors to open, my feet slowly turning blue, we were let in, and being second in the queue, got right to the middle of the front (fortunately the volume levels are slightly more subdued at the Waterfront compared to the UEA, otherwise I would have left sans hearing).
The support act was a duo of two Pauls, one of which, Paul Sartin, is actually a member of Bellowhead, playing fiddle and oboe, whereas the other Paul played accordion. Their mix of traditional music with a bit of humour and Duelling Banjos thrown in was very well received; when Sartin briefly disappeared to the back of the stage and came back brandishing a sliding whistle laughter was ensued as he nearly successfully started playing that instead of oboe.
After quite a short wait, and a quick tune up for Benji Kirkpatrick on the bouzouki (we were trying to work out what it was..), Bellowhead came bounding onto the stage and opened with a jaunty Whiskey Is The Life Of Man, getting the audience singing along with John Boden’s eccentric vocals. The great thing about Bellowhead isn’t just the music, it’s the performance. I have no idea how they manage to prance around onstage while still managing to hit the right notes everytime, and up to speed to, which for many songs is very fast. Most of the songs performed were either off one of their two albums, Burlesque and Matachin, but there were a few that are as yet unreleased, but still encompassed Bellowhead’s thriving spirit and drive. Alas, the gig had to come to an end, but with two encores: London Town and Frog’s Legs and Dragon’s Teeth (with the obligitary jumping) the crowd seemed to be satisfied for the evening. It really was a good gig; the skill and quality of all eleven musicians was outstanding, and never before have I seen people switching instruments at that speed in the middle of a song..
My Myspace post to them: Hey, you were awesome at the Waterfront on Tuesday, got right at the front =). If you ever need a flautist…
I can dream.