Review: Världens Band, Belgrave Music Hall 14/10/2015
October 29, 2015
‘Do the moves you have always dreamed of doing.’
The Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen is one of the many renowned ‘nice venues’ in Leeds, notorious for its wide selection of beers, pizzas that have toppings like ‘smoked sea salt’, and, of course, live music. Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of seeing multinational stylistic melting pot Världens Band in the main room, supported by Leeds-based introverted folk-grass outfit Red Sparrow Fall. Needless to say, it was a night that ticked a lot of musical boxes.
As the lights fell and the crowd hushed, the night’s presenter – one of Världens Band’s non-performing cadre – introduced to the stage Red Sparrow Fall to the sound of an appreciative and encouraging applause. Clocking in at only their fourth gig, Red Sparrow Fall still didn’t fail to capture the crowd’s attentions. Their songs all had a very mysterious quality about them, following surefire structures but with sparkles of less conventional harmony and timbres. The sturdy backdrop of the typical bluegrass band lineup – acoustic guitar, double bass, mandolin, banjo, fiddle and a vocalist – provided a great canvas for Davies to paint his poignant narrations. A performance nothing short of ethereal.
After a low-key and thought-provoking support performance, it was time for the logical advancement of the evening’s procedures with the inevitable visceral cultural orgy of Världens Band. The sheer size of the band was enough to draw any crowd’s curiosity – if I were to list all of the members then I’d be grossly violating my word count – but if that were not enough then the explosion of sound that they created certainly sealed the deal. Hearts, minds and bodies were captured in a bombardment of joyous cultural eclecticism and very danceable grooves. The ideas flowed into each other unapologetically, but nonetheless convincingly, making the whole sonic experience cacophonous but beautiful. Topped off with the fact that every member of the band was a capable musician in their own right, this was truly a energetic and memorable performance.
After a riveting evening of a diverse range of music, I welcomed exhaustion, and after talking to various members of both bands, it was clear that every musician in the room’s hearts were all in their craft. Two troupes of artists that I highly recommend you keep both eyes on!
Red Sparrow Fall links:
Världens Band links: