GIG Review: The Imagined Village at The Anvil, Basingstoke 15/06/2012

Imagine a ten piece band of various ethnic origins full of talent and experience holding your attention with an impressive musical display for well over two hours. This is exactly what the Imagined Village did at the Anvil. Started by Simon Emmerson in 2004 as a musical project intended to produce folk music representative of Britain’s multiculturalism, it has included in its line up some of the great names of the British scene.  Tonight in Basingstoke was no exception. The audience was treated to an exciting cocktail of duets, trios, quartets and full band.  During the first half, the mellifluous voice of Jackie Oates was superbly accompanied by Barney Morse-Brown (cellist and voice for Duotone) and Simon Richmond on keyboards; Eliza Carthy blended her earthy violin with Martin Carthy’s seminal folk guitar and Sheema Mukherjee’s enigmatic sitar. During the second half, they were joined by Ged Lynch (Peter Gabriel’s regular live drummer), Simon Emmerson on guitar, Ali Friend on bass and Johnny Kalsi who brought the house down with his bhangra drumming on “Get Kalsi”. The title track of their latest album, a 12-minute opus called “Bending the Dark” written for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad by Sheema, showed the potential this band has to expand and that the best is yet to come. The closing number “Cum on Feel the Noize”showcased what the Imagined Village are best at:  creating a new folk music for the 21st Century.

Joel Roszykiewicz