No time for sitting down: Bellowhead

Bellowhead November 2013 - tour image big_0I MADE A MISTAKE when I signed up for this Bellowhead gig. I shouldn’t have been sitting down. It became quickly apparent during their gig that half the fun is throwing yourself around like a loon in what little space you have.

Not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself, even Bellowhead couldn’t be ruined by the couple sitting in my eyeline who spent the majority of the gig snogging. I managed to refrain from banging their heads together when they broke apart and sat back to enjoy the show.

Bellowhead are an 11-piece contemporary folk band who must play at least 20 instruments between them. I spotted multiple saxophones, accordions, violins, a cello, a trumpet, a trombone, penny whistles and even a Sousaphone as well as a drummer standing at his kit.

The crowd started pretty relaxed but by the middle of the set, when they played the popular ‘Roll the Woodpile Down’, not only were the band dancing whilst playing, but the crowd were going for it too. By the last song of the set ‘New York Girls’ (not counting the two encores) the roof could have blown off the place and nobody would have noticed.

Not only fantastic musicians, but also clear entertainers, this was always going to be a fantastic gig, framed by the staging which looked like the skeleton of a tepee you would see at a festival. This tepee lit up into a Christmas decoration when they played their encore of ‘Christmas Bells’, their Christmas single with all profits going to the Philippines.

Bellowhead were well supported by Neil McSweeney, a showman himself with easy to listen to songs with gorgeous harmonies.

I had a fantastic night even if I was the only one on my side of the balcony standing up and dancing at the end of the night. But next time, I’ll be in the crowd with a cup full of cider and an equally enthusiastic dancing partner.