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“They take outrageous but enthralling liberties with some of folk’s hardy veterans…they sweep it all before them into a heady mix of great tunes, innovative arrangements, rampant imagination and brazen front…extraordinary.” —MOJO
“What sets this unique group apart is the range of other influences they weave into their sound. Jazz, funk, English music hall, New Orleans marching bands—they’re all present in this 11-strong big band’s riotous, hugely entertaining performances, which invariably transform their audiences into a kind of medieval mosh pit.” —BBC
Bigger, bolder, brassier and more brazen than ever, Bellowhead blaze back with their mighty new album, Broadside. Their third album Hedonism was the highest-selling independently released traditional folk album of all time, yet the new one Broadside (a title that rather cunningly melds an early form of printed song sharing with an appropriate nautical reference to firepower) is sure to eclipse it with its thrilling arrangements and non-stop party spirit.
Like Hedonism, Broadside is produced by the great John Leckie, who has previously worked closely with the Stone Roses and Radiohead; he has again effectively captured the explosiveness of Bellowhead, incorporating the top-notch jazz, world, folk and classical musicians of the gung-ho 11-piece line-up in a swathe of brass, strings, squeeze box, percussion and anything else that seemed like a good idea at the time. Tracks on the album may be familiar to the folk revival, including the mining song “Byker Hill,” the rocking sea shanty “Go My Way,” and the gruesome romp “Black Beetle Pies,” but they’ve never sounded like this as the band flex their considerable musical muscles with storming vocals, blitzing percussion, rampaging strings and mad, bad brass. With four albums, an abundance of awards, sell-out tours and a long trail of thunderous festival appearances down the line, Bellowhead have transported folk music into hitherto unknown territory, introducing a whole new audience to it with them.
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