18th Sep, 2019

Moishe's Bagel brings Artrix alive with driving rhythms and virtuoso playing

Ross Crawford 24th Jun, 2019

Moishe’s Bagel, Artrix Studio

IT’S a sure sign of a good gig when the disc you bought at it has been playing virtually non-stop since you got home.

So it is with Moishe’s Bagel.

They’re a band that loosely come under the blanket of ‘World Music’ albeit focusing on a small part of the globe – eastern Europe – with occasional forays elsewhere.

The result is a driving mix of Balkan beats and klezmer topped off with some silky jazz piano from Phil Alexander and stunning virtuoso work on violin from Greg Lawson.

It’s all held together by the rich sound of Pete Garnett’s accordion, the rhythm of Mario Caribe’s double bass backed up by the remarkable Guy Nicholson on percussion.

It’s a joyous mix too – heart lifting dance tunes that got toes tapping, feet thumping and chairs rocking from an audience agog at the sheer vitality of the music.

Indeed it was tempting to shift the chairs aside and have a good old dance instead.

Our journey began in Odessa, steadily heading westward after a brief detour to Armenia, taking in Macedonia, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic.

Scotland is included too (the band are from Edinburgh) and the evening includes an excursion to north Africa, and, in tribute to Caribe’s grandmother, to Brazil, for a spot of rumba.

There’s humour too – stories of how inspiration came from a Prague hangover to the sudden arrival on a well-travelled aunt’s arm of an ‘Uncle’ Roland.

In all, it’s a triumph. Well done to Artrix for landing such a band, and may they return back soon.

Ross Crawford

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