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Funky big band are fine folk
St George’s Hall
Euphoric, rapturous and full of funk – Bellowhead stormed their way through the night.
Marching band, circus troupe – they could be either or both at anyone time, performing rousing sea shanties and ballads.
Lead vocalist Jon Boden is a natural showman oozing charisma, his voice masterful and mesmerising, verging at times on the edge of eeriness, sometimes mellow, sometimes bawdy – a tone that wouldn’t be amiss in a Victorian hostelry with smog swirling round the door.
The band’s multi-instrumental talent is an immense celebration of sound, one big party on and off stage in the standing-only space.
The stomping crowd loved them, the dress circle shook under the praising beat of manic tapping feet.
Bellowhead are extrovert, demand attention, push the boundaries of traditional folk, and they were in their element.
Highlights included the mass jig at encore, a goose-bumping rendition of Cholera Camp based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling on military life.
“We’ve lots of quick promotions on ten deaths a day” – tragic but glorious – only Bellowhead could pull that one off.