The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band: Polkapocalypse (Monkey)

 |   |  1 min read

The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band: Dark Eyes
The Benka Boradovsky Bordello Band: Polkapocalypse (Monkey)

The problem with playing certain kinds of folk music -- Jewish klezmer, polka and gypsy music come to mind -- is that it can too easily fall into the area of parody and ridicule, albeit unintentionally, if that isn't your culture.

Roots Americana is internationally transferable because musicians can put in their own concerns in the lyrics. But polka, gypsy music etc if not your culture means you are simply borrowing the style for . . .?

In the case of the BBB Band, for a very good time indeed.

This is knees-up dance music (as it is in the original perhaps, although there is ample evidence of gypsy music being somewhat more) and therefore rides familiar melodies and rhythms, all of which works live.

But transferring that to disc opens up a whole set of other problems: and they aren't exactly ameliorated by the caricature vocals which might get them into trouble with the militant wing of the Gypsy Defense League (if there is one).

Musically of course everything is kosher (if we might appropriate that word for these purposes) and the band fairly kick along with fiddle, percussion, accordion, ripping electric guitar (on Nabakov's Wandering Eye) so on -- although a cover of the Dead Kennedy's Too Drunk To Fuck inna gypsy-style suggests their tongues remain shoved hard in their cheeks. (That'll be the Gypsy Anti-Defamation League on the phone, huh?)

The BBB Band provide exciting party music live (some of this is from live sessions) much like Brave Combo do with rock'n'roll polka (covering Hendrix, the Stones, the Doors etc) and Boom Pam do with their invention of Israeli surf music. But too much of this errs towards the parody to be entirely comfortable.

Enjoyable enough, but let's hope Garth Cartwright isn't sent a copy for review. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Geraldo Pino: Heavy Heavy Heavy (RetroAfrica/Southbound)

Geraldo Pino: Heavy Heavy Heavy (RetroAfrica/Southbound)

Some weeks ago I posted a track by the late and very great Fela Anikulapo Kuti from Nigeria who put James Brown funk, Black Power politics and African rhythms into the blender and created Afrobeat.... > Read more

Khruangbin: The Universe Smiles Upon You (NightTimeStories/Southbound)

Khruangbin: The Universe Smiles Upon You (NightTimeStories/Southbound)

As summer arrives our attention turns to slower sounds, but if the thought of more barbecue reggae makes you queasy then this (mostly) instrumental trio originally out of Texas can oblige with... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

FALUN GONG AT HOME AND ABROAD (2006): The Chinese envoy is here . . .

FALUN GONG AT HOME AND ABROAD (2006): The Chinese envoy is here . . .

The walls of the modest unit in suburban Auckland where Huang Juo-Hua and his four-year old daughter Kaixin live are almost bare. In the lounge there is only a meagre calendar, and a large... > Read more

Paul McCartney; Pure McCartney (Universal)

Paul McCartney; Pure McCartney (Universal)

This big but perhaps unnecessary retrospective of a living legend is available in double disc, four-CD or four-LP formats. Enough product for you? So here's a non-chronological, self-chosen... > Read more