Second album from Brum’s purveyors of fiery folk, Bonfire Radicals
Release Date: 30th September 2022
Format: CD / digital
A bunch of original, traditional and borrowed tunes are given a fresh new coating and fired into the world by an outfit who specialises in creating a raucous and danceable feast. The intertwining of the traditional and the contemporary is an irresistible blend bursting with vibrancy and electricity.
Folk traditions from around the world are thrown into the Radicals’ mix, offering plenty of quirks and European leanings. The bass and organ provides a solid and satisfying depth while the fiddles and jangle of guitar fly over the top; that very guitar adding a calyspo vibe to Cafe De Flore as the arrangements continually shift focus. A touch of funk here and there and the recorder hints at both an organic rustic-ness and a bit of bluesy Tull
The party veers off into wild abandon in the snaking The Man From Suburbia. Indeed, the snake charmer’s paradise is an unforgiving exotic and winding kaleidoscope. Not content, there are flirtations with jazzy time signatures with the full band firing at full pelt.
It’s not without its topical and emotive moments either. The shock of the juxtaposition of a murder ballad with a take on Mary Ashford, a song which has some history, and in this case given a more sombre and stripped back arrangement. It’s particularly poignant where the naked vocals are backed by a simple drone. Particularly ominous too with the “two hundred years on and my story repeats” line and the wiry guitar-led coda.
Fortunately, we’re back swinging with the Klezmer pairing of Sha, Sha, Di Shviger Kumt (a very useful phrase, Shh, the mother-in-law is coming) and Freilacher Nashele, segueing seamlessly as the groove is explored and worked. Half an hour flies by but leaves a lasting impression that there’s no need to wait for a circus to arrive in town when you have Bonfire Radicals to hand. Party on Wayne!