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THE QP - Gâteau De Boeuf

THE QP - Gâteau De Boeuf
Private Label  QPCD1201

The QP’s 2009 debut Intro was exciting and full of promise and youthful energy, and the follow-up delivers much more of the same, no question. Folk meets funk meets rock meets hip-hop, bringing together a wealth of influences, OK?  But there have been some changes in the band, causing the internal dynamic and spread of instrumental timbres to shift a little. Although the QP’s flautist has departed, the band sound is still wind-centred, driven and funky; but there’s now also a fiddle player (Kat Hurdley, who doubles on soprano sax and vocals), and brilliant bass player Tim Yates (of Blackbeard’s Tea Party) has joined up in order to allow Dan Bones to concentrate on guitars and bouzouki.

The inventive and not-obvious juxtaposition of elements, tunes and/or songs that the QP seem to delight in, is nowhere more apparent than on the opening Amiga Fantasy, where Susie’s singing of Flower Of Magherally forms a strange but appealing filling to a sandwich of tasty Matt Crum tunes. Elsewhere on this disc, morris comes under the syncopated spotlight (Bitch Jiggaz), and Bloody Accordion Salesman launches into full-out rock guitar. On a good number of tracks, the band’s experimentation confidently stems from songs that provide the primary impetus, and plenty good fun is had with Hey For The Buff, which serves up The Hexhamshire Lass out of a French-Canadian crooked reel, and the time-honoured tale of The Lawyer. The closing track is an amalgam of She Moved Through The Fair and a brace of typically frenetic tunes bestowed on the band by founder member and harmonica wiz Will Pound, and culminates in one of those famous QP workout sequences that marries Turkish with ska before taking on prog-style electrics.

I’m not always sure the best is made of the songs, for it can on occasion be hard to escape the feeling that the texts’ meanings and rhythms are being made subservient to the instrumental shenanigans, but there’s no denying the exhilaration of the QP in their discoveries and subsequent assured arrangings.

David Kidman

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This album was reviewed in Issue 92 of The Living Tradition magazine.