A Punter’s Perspective 20 — Gypsies (Raggle-taggle and others)

Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen
Image courtesy of Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen

A Punter’s Perspective

Random observations on the wide, weird world of folk from the side of the stage

#20 Gypsies (Raggle-taggle and others)
First published in Trad and Now magazine, April 2010

From flitting sporadically and erratically around the edges of the music scene, it’s possibly to form occasional observational and lightly-informed opinions.

I have hundreds. Many of them so self-evident they barely bear recounting.

One that seems worthy of at least a little light attention is the casual observation that gypsy music has been on the rise in recent years. There’s more on the radio, there’s more on festival programs and gig guides are swelling with their ranks.

Struggling to differentiate between Roma Music and Roma Street Station, I spoke to a number of exponents of the art-form.

My interest was piqued about a year ago when UK-bsed Paprika Reloaded (previously Paprika Balkanicus) came to Australia and whipped up a frenzy of punter acclaim wherever they went. I Canberra, just these five guys on stage, dressed conservatively in white shirts and black pants – no elaborate lighting or special effects – created pandemonium. There was dancing in the seats, dancing in the aisles, and every security’s detail’s nightmare, the crowd was invited up for dancing on the stage. Continue reading