the Imagined Village
Following the 2011 live dates the band set out to record their third album Bending the Dark. They gained a great front-woman in the form of folk siren Jackie Oates who had been guesting with the band on tour. The band wanted the album to reflect the energy and eclecticism of their live shows.
Such is the democratic way they operate, that various band members penned tracks that were then passed around the group for collaborative input, which is why there is such a variety of styles on offer, such as the classic eighties crime drama feel of ‘The Guvna’, written by Ali Friend, and the Bhangra-meets-Roy Budd epic ‘Get Kalsi’.
The title track is a 12-minute opus written by the bands sitar player Sheema Mukherjee. It starts with swinging gypsy fiddle refrain and gradually mutates into a sitar and violin folk melody, before ending up with a full-on Andy Gangadeen and Johnny Kalsi drum-off.
The Sun described it as a ‘ceilidh in a curry house’.