‘She’Koyokh: Klezmer music by an outstanding band’

‘Last night the Sounds Green concert featured a band of musicians playing with abandon in the open air. On stage was She’Koyakh (means’ Nice One! In Yiddish) an intriguing group with players from Sweden, Turkey, Romania, Serbia Bulgaria and all based in Britain. In fact they’re the most famous Klezmer band in the country. 

‘The tradition they draw on is complicated – Balkan, Sephardic Jewish and Ashkenazy alike, along with the village songs of time out of mind, from Serbia to Turkey… The result is a rip-roaring sound. There’s percussion of course and an accordion for the essential sound of Klezmer. But this band has a double bass for deep satisfying registers, a lively gypsy-style violin (yes – a further influence of the unique sound) along with a deft guitar  and fabulous gutsy singer.

‘Usually the Sounds Green concerts do manage to encourage a bit of cautious dancing – and you can usually count on a collection of eight-year-old girls to join in. Last night it was different. Adults were on their feet with partners and without. Soon there were more and as the band got going irresistibly, chains of dancers hand in hand were doing the traditional steps and moving round the Botanical Gardens in a way probably never seen before. It’s a huge credit to the organisers…that the atmosphere is now so relaxed and joyful.’

Anne Garvey, Local Secrets