Once in a while a dance band comes along that get’s the feet tapping…then there are those rarer kind that simply blow your socks off and no words can aptly describe the electricity they send coursing through your body! Anglo-French band Topette!! certainly fall into the latter category, you will not be able to keep your feet still, they will work up any crowd into a joyful frenzy of unstoppable movement! If I didn’t know any better I’d say Andy Cutting, Barnaby Stradling, James Delarre, Julien Cartonnet and Tania Buisse had all been down to the Anglo-French version of the crossroads and made themselves a deal with Old Nick. Check’em out in action below performing ‘Venture’, our Tune of the Day:
There is no denying the vibe this five-piece exude is one of ‘Party!’. I want to avoid using the word ‘perfect’ as that infers rehearsed precision, this has the spirit of the village band that draws in revellers from miles around, one that rolls with the crowd and can respond to both the audience and each-other. There’s a fine chemistry at play amongst these musicians which is no doubt entrenched in their friendship – The combination of Stradling’s bass lines, Buisse’s intuitive bodhrán playing and Cutting’s flighty and dynamic playing are mighty. Add to this the wonderful fiddle-lines from Delarre and Cartonnet’s tenor banjo…as well as his glowing French piping then you have a new folk supergroup! But what separates Topette!! from all the others is a very tangible vibe that they all have as a group, it draws you in like a welcoming fire.
The new 7-track EP Chez Michel – the name of the bar in France where the band was born – features an eclectic selection of material. Recorded in France earlier this year, it opens with an unexpectedly uplifting trad. French dance tune Bourée Morvandelle and Cartonnet’s own La Lustrée but then careers off via a gloriously plunky version of Ola Bäckström’s Meatballs, Whiskey And Beer, a traditional Gnawa tune Hamouda and, underpinned by some seriously dirty bass, the ecstatic swirling trad. tune Maybe Macedonian?
What you waiting for? Join the party on:
Sunday 22 Nov. The Bower House. Maidstone. Dance Workshop. 07585 662395
Monday 23 Nov. Oxford. Wesley Memorial Church, Oxford. 0788 794 8853
Tuesday 24 Nov. Halsway Manor. Somerset. 01984 618274
Wednesday 25 Nov. Yellow Arch. Sheffield. 0114 275 7295
Thursday 26 Nov. Parish Hall. Whitchurch, Hants. 0788 794 8853
Friday 27 Nov. St Mary in the Castle, Hastings. 01424 781624
Sat 28. Nov. The Convent. Woodchester. Gloucestershire 01453 835138
Sun 29 Nov. The Bower House. The Bower House. Maidstone. 07585 662395
Video and Photo by the talented Simon Houlihan