Bellowhead performing at The Royal Concert Hall on Thursday 23rd April 2015


Pictures by Kevin Cooper
Review by Kevin Cooper

With Bellowhead at The Royal Concert Hall, it was a night destined for fun and dance, and this 11 piece English folk band did not disappoint. Coming onto a stage, set with half of the foliage from the local Garden Centre, they launched into opener Let Her Run from their latest album, Revival.

This multi-talented band each had their own part to play as they showcased their individual talents with the likes of guitars, fiddles, drums, a cello, a concertina and a great four piece horn section which brought together a fine performance of songs from all of their five albums.

They flew rapidly through tales of doctors, whores and deportation to Australia with songs such as Fine Sally, London Town and New York Girls, and it wasn’t too long before this audience were up on their feet and in the aisles, dancing. It was infectious stuff and I defy anyone not to have been tapping their feet and clapping along.

Lead vocalist, Jon Boden is a towering presence and has the same mesmerising stage presence as the late Ian Curtis (Joy Division). During the gig he provided plenty of cheeky chat, but in the main let the music do the talking. New single Roll Alabama ramped up the energy level whilst Fakenham Fair was just fun. Admittedly some of the arrangements are a little dark, but they are inventive and entertaining. Numbers like Betsy Baker, Greenwood Side and Gosport Nancy had the audience singing, before the set was brought to a close with a superb performance of Roll The Woodpile Down and the fantastic rollicking instrumental Frog’s Legs And Dragon’s Teeth.

Without doubt these are accomplished musicians whose infectious brand of folk fun means you’re guaranteed a good night, and that is exactly what they delivered as most of this audience danced their way home.