The Forge, Basingstoke 21/11/10
Les Triaboliques are a devilish trio as their name infers and they demonstrated their musical sorcery through a seemingly effortless show of strength in Basingstoke. They were so at ease with the audience that they could have been playing in their own front room. Their music is a melting pot in which the main ingredient is the blues; many spices are chucked in, in the form of Eastern European ethnic sounds from a Hungarian flute called tilinka, and a barizouki (bass bouzouki), boldly played by Ben Mandelson. Lu Edmonds with his delightfully gravelly voice added his fiery exotic playing on a rather unusual looking Turkish instrument; a cross between a banjo and mandolin with a large tin pot attached to it, called a cümbüş. Justin Adams brought to this melange his perfect knowledge of the desert guitar blues, peppered with a trace of gnawa trance and confident vocals. There was plenty to watch; Lu’s entertaining acrobatics and big smiles on the musicians’ faces when they surprised each other in their improvisations!
This was an evening of indescribable charm, an evening where we “cleaned the attics of our mind and emptied our suitcases” as Ben Mandelson remarked. A carefully chosen selection of covers and self-penned songs took us to the Delta, the Steppe and the Desert for a couple of hours and that is what good music does, it takes you to other places!