Taraf De Haidouks & Mama Rosin - Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Sat 22 Jan 2010 (4 stars)

Taraf De Haidouks & Mama Rosin - Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Sat 22 Jan 2010

Romanian gypsy troupe's Celtic Connections date

Beloved of Johnny Depp and Mike Patton, Romanian gypsy troupe Taraf De Haidouks remain a thrilling live act in their third decade. A spirited set of amped up Cajun and Zydeco from Swiss trio Mama Rosin makes for a fine appetiser, all accordian, banjo and infectious rhythms. Next to Taraf, however, they sound positively sluggish. The delirious speed of Taraf’s music attracts shred-headed metal fans as much as it does high-spirited folkies. There are moments where, on the turn of a dime, the group take the tempo up to warp speed, leaving jaws agape and limbs flailing.

Pan-like flautist Gheorge Falcaru opens proceedings, his bird-song like trills answered by the frenetic violins and accordians. Then in comes the cimbalom, or hammer dulcimer, sounding like mice scurrying across piano wires. Of course, it’s not all high speed chases. Senior member Ion Manoli lends his high, keening voice to a number of stirring ballads, while their reclamations of folk-derived classical pieces show the group’s considerable range. Their takes on Bartok and Khatchaturian, for example, possess a wild magic missing from conventional classical arrangements.

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