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Burlesque (Ltd. Jewel Case Version)


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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Britain’s most successful traditional folk act Bellowhead are 10 years old this year. Not only did they mark their birthday with two of their biggest sold out shows to date - in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 19th April and London’s Royal Albert Hall on 20th April – they also announced from the stage at the Royal Albert Hall that they are releasing a brand new album ... Read more in Amazon's Bellowhead Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Sept. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Proper Records
  • ASIN: B00139ZWEQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,224 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rigs Of The Time
2. Jordan
3. Across The Line
4. London Town
5. Sloe Gin
6. Courting Too Slow
7. Flash Company
8. Hopkinson's Favourite
9. One May Morning Early
10. Outlandish Knight
11. Frog's Legs And Dragon's Teeth
12. Fire Marengo

Product Description

Burlesque is Bellowhead's much anticipated full length album. The album includes 13 songs and tunes inspired by a dazzling array of material from the Napoleonic Wars "Rigs Of The Time", the American minstrel movement "Jordan", sea-shanties from Brazil "Across The Line" and the spirit of the East Anglian step dance tradition "Sloe Gin". Lead singer, Jon Boden, struts and emotes much like a grandson of Mick Jagger and the ensemble playing of all of the musicians is superb. It is not simply the technical ability of the individual players that impressess but also the sheer musicality of the arrangements. By 2006, the band had long since transcended the idea of simply being a folk band with some brass players. They have honed a unique style, which sets them apart. Deeply rooted in the English folk dance tradition, they also merge a joyous, uplifting cacophony of sound with a slightly sinister, distorted collision of music hall, Lotte Lenya, Robert Wyatt and pure theatre.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Richard on 26 Sept. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Those who own 'Eponymous' or have been to a live Bellowhead gig will know in part what to expect - a big brassy folk sound with the attack Spiers and Boden bring to all they do, but here there is a new ingredient to the fore, sublety. Almost every song has musical surprises. The big brassy sound usually works best on upbeat tracks, but as always the exception proves the rule; the hauntingly beautiful 'Courting Too Slow', from an earlier Spiers and Boden CD, enters a new dimension thanks to Boden's sensitive arrangement and some glorious playing. Is there a quibble? It is very minor and probably just me, but the odd arrangement seems almost over elaborate, as on the stark little song 'Death and the Lady', but this is a splendid CD. Buy it now and revel in its delights.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jwicc on 28 Sept. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Foot tapping and brain tickling. The tunes are traditional but rearranged and adapted by members of Bellowhead drawing on various styles, even Brazilian. This is not old guys in woolies droning on about authenticity. The result is certainly resplendent, almost baroqe, burlesque perhaps, in its glorious excess. It comes with extensive liner notes detailing the known origins, discovery and development of the tunes. Its fun to listen to the thumping brass backing while recalling that the song you are hearing was sung in fields in 18th century Sussex or on 19th century cotton transport ships. But this is not an academic record. It's a hoot. And you can dance to it. It ought to be much more widely known.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Brown on 18 Sept. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Eleven of the brightest young talents on the folk scene today, brought together by established duo Spiers & Boden, deliver their first full-length album - and what an experience it is.

The unifying factor may be English folk - and gloriously so - but, by heck, all musical life is here. From the macabre fury of Rigs of the Time, via the relentless rhythmic whirlpool that is Hopkinson's Favourite, to the irresistibly harmonious One May Morning Early, the arrangements and performances are dazzling - both remorselessly imaginative and thrillingly visceral.

As a folk album, it does what any good folk album should - give us a reason to keep listening, even after all these years. But in so doing, it achieves something more. It becomes a salute to eclecticism - a wonderfully inclusive celebration of music and dance per se, which anyone who possesses the slightest dram of musical curiosity, rootsy or otherwise, should check out with immediate effect.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Archana on 10 Oct. 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have to say that I'm not normally a folk fan but this album is not folk as you know it. It's almost as exhilarating as the eleven-strong band LIVE -- I was lucky enough to catch them in Blackheath earlier this year and I still feel charged up by the experience. The melodies are memorable, complex and evocative. The lead singer has a very seductive voice, but he's not the only one -- there are other good voices here, and fine close harmonies. You can listen to any part of the music and find rich texture there to reward your focus. You will hear shades of Les Negresses Vertes at times, meshed with English ballads, Celtic jigs, Arabic strains, anarchy, jazz... And one more thing: wit. There's intelligence and humour in both the lyrics and the music, down to the last percussive frying pan or drunken violin.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE on 19 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a stunning experience and lots of fun unless you're a po faced folkie purist. Certainly sounds like the group (in reality a cross between a chamber orchestra and a colliery brass band) is having fun revisiting, dissecting and reassembling this frankenstein monster of an album. It's a collection of traditional folk songs and new tunes, arranged brilliantly for about a dozen players lead by Boden and Spiers who add a bewildering mixture of musical influences, from classical, jazz, rock - you can hear Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, Herb Alpert, ELO, parodies from pop, funk, world genres and more - Millennium music for morris dancers, snake charmers and courtiers. The arrangements are truly phenomenal - from the intro to Rigs of the Time, a sort of orchestra tuning up followed by what sounds like the theme from The Simpsons before the thumping brass and woodwind driven melody behind the wonderful folk singing. Martin Carthy it's not. Standout track is Jordan (an American gospel song) featuring bagpipes !!! and sounding like the Michael Nyman soundtrack for Peter Greenaway's Draughtsman's Contract. Why wasn't this picked for Eurovision - fantastic, theatrical, daring ? There are a few more conventional songs - the bouzouki, accordion, cello on Across the Line with its infectious chorus is very effective; Courting Slow shows a more typical fiddle and box Spiers and Boden combination on an old love ballad; One May Morning is a carol arranged for voice parts and some brass accompaniment. The tunes are less immediate in their appeal but soon grow with their variety of dance rhythms to keep the toes tapping. An awesome effort from all involved. Open your ears and minds - it's really worth it (almost for the beautiful packaging alone).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy on 11 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Heard the excerpts on the website and thought I had to hear more - have been totally blown away by this band - seen them live now and have become a die-hard FAN! Even the odd little ditty Flash Company gets me going. They are true to the English folk tradition on some tracks and refreshingly eccentric in their energetic approach on others. I cannot recommend this album highly enough! I'd give it 6 stars if I could!
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