Moishe’s Bagel: National Centre for Early Music, York

Artist: Moishe’s Bagel
Venue: National Centre for Early Music
Location: York
Date: 02/11/2007

Arriving late and flustered at a concert is never a good move, especially when it means that you end up with a seat behind a pillar. Luckily, this was a gig where the music spoke for itself. Who needs to see the stage when a “rip-roaring, foot-stomping, jazz-inflected” band are strutting their stuff? The wired atmosphere was enough.

With a name like Moishe’s Bagel, how far wrong can you go? I wondered. So I booked my ticket for the concert at York’s National Centre for Early Music with high expectations. I was not disappointed. Piano, violin, double-bass, accordion and percussion make up this Scottish quintet, who draw on “klezmer, folk dance, jazz, and eastern percussion traditions”, alongside impro­v- isation. This unlikely yet energetic fusion works surprisingly well, helped not least by the skill and charisma of the musicians.

Their witty performance incorporated a well balanced mix of lilting ballads and lively tunes that got the crowd dancing. Having found myself a better vantage point I could see the curly-haired troupe moving to the music with cheeky smiles; this was an informal but distinctly passionate performance. The diversity of style made for a fantastic evening – I left buzzing on a natural high.

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