Budapest Cafe Orchestra interviewed

Published: 12 Apr 2012 09:300 comments

Budapest Cafe Orchestra will roam into Thatcham to bring their intriguing Balkan gypsy jam to audiences at Yattendon Village Hall.

Their unique style mixes rousing sounds with sombre tunes and stomping beats in a cataclysmic mix of Eastern European instruments.

Violinist Chris Garrick said: "It's a celebration of eastern Europe, although we're not culturally connected, we're musically connected. We are playing community-based music."

Chris, who also teaches at the Royal Academy Of Music and The Royal College, London, continued: "It's a party, a celebration, it's vivid and vibrant. It's immediate and easy for the audience to connect with."

The four members are all multi-intrumentalists who have played with iconic operatic artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Between them they play the violin, two Darabukas (Turkish drums), a Saz (a Turkish lute), a Balalaika (Russian guitar) a button accordian, guitar, double bass and a Domra (a lute-like instrument).

Chris continued: "We like to put on an entertaining show with lights and a backdrop. It's very colourful and warm and we have a lot of fun doing it. There is a lot of emphasis on fun, it's not a formal script, and we enjoy it when there is feedback from the crowd."

The band's powerful and poignant blend of folk-based compositions and covers are drawn from the group's favourite pieces and crowd-pleasers, such as Monti Czardes.

Chris told The Guide: "We always play Black Eyes, a famous Russian tune. It's either based on the balance of the programme or our own personal choices. Sometimes the tempo is fast and sometimes it is slow and plaintive and tragic - like the Jewish folk melodies."

The show is being put on in collaboration with West Berkshire Brewery as part of their Brew House music series.

The Orchestra will commence on Sunday, April 22 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £14 advance, £15 on the door and available by calling 01635 202968 or 01635 202638.

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