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Bell Hagg Orkestar

Bell Hagg Orkestar

Some bands make music to nod your head to, others make music to bop along to, and some make music that forces you to dance like you’ve had 12 drinks too many, ricocheting around the room, spinning wildly and looking in disbelief as your legs kick and skip in moves you never knew you had. Bell Hagg Orkestar’s tunes have some sort of mystical Eastern magic attached to them. You can’t help but dance recklessly.

Right out of the gate, the album throws you into a world of squealing violins and blaring brass and doesn’t really ever stop the chaos. ‘Killer Hippy’ manages to descend (or ascend, depending on your opinion) rapidly from vaguely understandable lyrics about dangerous women to Balkan wails and statements of things “coming atcha like William Shatner”. Yet this unbridled madness seems to be the core of the band. Simply put: make noise, have fun.

It’s a careful line to tread. Sometimes the blaring horns become a little too much, but most times the band seems to understand this and reels in the noise a little for a slower bridge before letting it all cascade out again. The whole affair feels much like a fever dream covered in Turkish rugs and baklava. Sometimes a little too much to handle, but once you get into the spirit of things you can’t help but wail along and make abstract movements with your arms.

For anyone tired of the usual indie pop doing the rounds, Bell Hagg Orkestar are a welcome change - refreshing madness, fun lyrics and an eclectic mash of instruments and sounds from across the world. Muzak to my ears.

The next Bell Hagg gig will happen at Shakespeares on 7 February (doors 8.30pm).