It’s the way of the bohemian’s, it’s in the sounds they make. It’s the way they create magic with their instruments, bounding within seconds from the spine tingling whimsical to an exhilarating stomp.
Playing a beautiful version of the jazz standard, Minor Swing there wasn’t a foot in the room that wasn’t tapping, stamping or dancing. The band sound so raw and authentic, close your eyes and you’re transported back in time to a seedy looking 1930s Parisian bar where colourful characters dance and sway in the shadows.
Their influences are obvious, yet their sound and compositions are that of accomplished musicians with a flair for making their performance sound easy. Sounds of Bal-musette, Swing, Eastern European street performers and Early Jazz all can be heard in the mix.
The highlight of the evening for me was their outstanding version of La Vie En Rose which gave me goose bumps, their version was definitely up there with Edith Piaf and of course Mr Louie Armstrong’s.
Timeless, emotive, life affirming, authentic - this is music for real music lovers and those that know there is more to life than the 9-5 rat race – if you don’t fall in love with this music I suggest you may need to lie down in a dark room until you feel well again.
This is not the first time I have seen the band and it definitely will not be the last, as always a reliable and beautiful performance with songs offering a mix of delicacy and ferocity.
I can only advise you to go see this band of wandering minstrels as soon as you can - if you haven’t already, you’re missing out.
Maniere Des Bohemiens played at Nottingham Contemporary on Saturday 7 July 2012.
Their second album Mélodies Manouche is out now, released on Farmyard Records, recorded live in the Nottinghamshire countryside.