"Still, the audience (who had, in the main, to be members of the Dutch equivalents of Morris dance societies, and pottery students, dressed in what can only be called romantic attire), enjoyed themselves."
Night of the Gipsies – Patronaat, 28/02/05
Oh, just to quickly point out to all the uninitiated out there, Gipsies is a word non-grata nowadays. It's Roma. The band Kal told us this many times during their performance. So we go with Roma from now on okay?
My girlfriend, having Hungarian ancestry, was looking forward to this night for months. And not without reason for the line up was pretty damned good. The wonderful Bea Palya (who has made brilliant folky dream music, most notably "") was playing, as were Kal, Dragan Ristic, and the crazy Kocani Orkestar, who, for the record play demented Macedonian wedding tunes at full pelt.
Now, why am I writing this review like its a tourist brochure? Well, apart from the DJ Pilot set (which was, admittedly, great, and contained a Roma version of Kraftwerk's Trans Europe Express that I insist on having), we only got to see Kal. Bea Palya was sick, and, to compound the missus's misery, the night proper didn't start till nine-thirty pm, a full HOUR after advertised. So we got Kal, and one song of Dragan Ristic, and then had to go to catch the train. Bummer extraordinaire.
For the record, Kal, dressed with those pork pie hats that no-one else but Roma can get away with wearing, started at full pelt and continued in much the same vein throughout their performance. Each band member was complemented on their looks by the others, (yes, they were handsome lads, so they had a point), and each had a turn of soloing with their respective instruments; (again for the record, mostly accordians, guitars, and double bass). Frankly, they were fucking brilliant, and it is one of my eternal regrets that the night of the performance was Monday and not a weekend night. Take note, Patronaat... Still, the audience (who had, in the main, to be members of the Dutch equivalents of Morris dance societies, and pottery students, dressed in what can only be called romantic attire), enjoyed themselves. So much so that for the life of me I've never seen a middle aged, liberal leaning audience throw off their shackes so completely and with such wantonness. There was lots of whooping and clapping as the crowd recreated what was, for them, an authentic camp fire moment. The band got more demented, playing faster and faster, and peppered each interlude with really funny asides. They looked a sound bunch of lads. Dragan Ristic came on to sing a love song, which was so beautiful, and so full of yearning, that it brought the house down. (You could almost hear the middle aged, shawl bedecked women thinking, "oh, if only Jan would speak like that instead of going on about stocks and shares").
Then they were off to tumultuous applause and whooping (why do people whoop? I don't get it). Back came the DJ Pilot, who, again played a cool set, and off we had to go.
As I said, bummer extraordinaire. A top night and we missed it.
Words: Richard Foster.