The amazing gypsy Balkan klezmer band Fromage en Feu are back! Join the party at Nunney village hall on Saturday 15 February.
When Fromage en Feu’s scheduled performance in front of Nunney Castle was rained off, the band decided to play inside a packed The George at Nunney instead. The result was one of those performances where many said, “You should have been there.”
A twist of fate brought the founder members of Fromage en Feu together. On a ferry from France to England, clarinetist Bobby Cheddar was playing a Jewish melody when Jan van der Gouda picked up his trumpet and began to play along.
Ideas bubbled, plans were hatched, Jan dropped the trumpet in favour of the accordion and in Spring 2005 “The Pavement Ravers” burst onto the Bristol street music scene. That summer they were joined by trombonist Babybel, violinist Agent Moulding-Process and singer Violaine Boursin and together they plied their trade around the markets and harbour-side streets of Bristol.
Taking inspiration from French cafe singers of years gone by, Violaine conjured up the name “Fromage en Feu” and a new band identity was born. The band briefly had a string section when they were joined by violinist Monterey Jack, but in Autumn 2005 they discovered Sergio Provolone playing for pennies in a disused church in east Bristol. Impressed by his reckless abandon and untamed violin playing, they took him on.
The winter of 2005 saw many changes, with the mighty presence of Czech bassman Pepa Syrecek grounding the band’s wild melodies and crazy singing, Bobby Cheddar moving on to join a group of hags with bags and Violaine Boursin leaving for Nepal to join a missionary. Many changes, but in the spring of 2006, with the addition of la belle Babs Wensleydale on the clarinet, Fromage en Feu re-emerged as Bristol’s premier faux French cheese-loving band; performing a globe-spanning array of music from Argentina to the Russian steppes at festivals, weddings, parties and many venues around Bristol.
Over the next few years, the sound developed with Senor Tiscamanita on the guitar providing a backbeat and, as his other musical commitments grew too many, being replaced by Welsh guitar maestro Jimi Saval.
The first Fromage album, Debut, was painstakingly crafted over a year and was released in Summer 2009 to great acclaim and the wearing of many false mustaches.
Shortly afterward, Pepa departed the band, leaving a huge double-bass shaped hole that was first filled by Louis Cashel-Blue and Eddie Corleggi in a rare double double-bass act. Exit Louis stage left in a puff of smoke and greasepaint and enter the untapped talent of Vladimir Roquefort, introduced to the band by Eddie, who had pressing engagements with a circus of his own.
Vladimir brought with him a honey sweet singing voice and long-forgotten Polish tunes from the beanfields and moved the Fromage sound to a new level.
From simple tunes played on street corners by a two-man busking outfit to epic Eastern odysseys and finely crafted waltzes played by an unstoppable six-piece Trans-Balkan express, Fromage en Feu has come a long way, but the story is only just beginning…
The band’s own website fromageenfeu.eu has lots more information, clips and a shop where you can buy Fromage en Feu’s CDs.
Fromage en Feu live at Nunney Village Hall on Saturday 15 February from 7.30pm promises to be a hugely popular night of fiery Balkan and Klezmer music. This event is organised by the Nunney Community Association (NCA).
A licensed bar will be open from 7pm. Please note that there will be no meals available at this event.
Nunney Community Association
Telephone 01373 836 949
Email [email protected]
Tickets will be sold on the door only at £10 each.
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