Bellowhead - Hedonism

2010 studio album

Hedonism - Bellowhead

the bright young folk review

Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios under the watchful gaze of producer John Leckie, ’Hedonism’ is the third album from the mighty Bellowhead and it offers a unique mix of the traditional and the modern with a cheeky twist.

’New York Girls’ explodes out of the speakers with all the energy of a live performance. Turning the story of ’London Town’ on it’s head, this light-hearted warning of the dangers of getting drunk in New York city is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and is well on it’s way to becoming my favourite Bellowhead track.

But all parties must to come to an end, a sentiment which is captured in music by ’Amsterdam,’ the only non-traditional track on the album. Beautifully arranged and translated from Jacques Brel’s original French, it tells of the darker side of ’Hedonism’ and the grim realities of the exploits of sailors on shore-leave within the ’port of Amsterdam’.

The biggest surprise, however, comes in the shape of ’Little Sally Racket’, whose story has been transformed into a rollicking punk/folk orgy. Never ones to shy away from pushing generic boundaries, ’Little Sally Racket’ brings folk music crashing into the 21st century - and they pull it off with style.

Previous albums have struggled to capture the vibrancy and energy of a Bellowhead gig, but with Hedonism the sound quality is such that, if it weren’t for the lack of applause, it is hard to believe this isn’t a live performance.

With each track just as infectious as the previous one, ’Hedonism’ is the musical equivalent of a book you just cannot put down. From the percussive opening of ’New York Girls’ to the final chorus of ’Yarmouth Town’, these eleven tracks will take you on an unforgettable journey into the sometimes dark, sometimes seedy but always exciting world of ’Hedonism’.

Mary Stokes

Due for release on 4 October 2010.

1. New York Girls
2. A-Begging I will Go
3. Cross-Eyed And Chinless
4. Broomfield Hill
5. The Hand Weaver And The Factory Maid
6. Captain Wedderburn
7. Amsterdam
8. Cold Blows The Wind
9. Parson’s Farewell
10. Little Sally Racket
11. Yarmouth Town

Bellowhead discography