Preview: Zűrös Banda

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A huge slice of Hungarian music talent is coming to St Boswells on Saturday November 28, in the shape of six-piece band Zűrös Banda, five of whom are travelling all the way from their native Magyar to play in the UK for the first time.

No doubt any newspaper would introduce Zűrös Banda as a Hungarian world music “supergroup”; however such boastfulness is far from the minds of the band – though, it is true that the members of Zűrös Banda are prominent figures of the Hungarian world music scene. Apart from their years of friendship, the main reason for founding the band was their mutual love for modern Balkan music.

Lead vocalist Branka Basits is also a member of the band Pravo, playing Serbian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian music. She is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after female singers in Hungary.

Kornel Varga on the guitar is known for his work with Fianna and Fabula Rasa, as is drummer Akos Kertesz, who is also involved in many jazz projects both at home and internationally.

Attila Boros also plays bass in Makam, the most famous world music band in Hungary.

Peter Bede, as a young multi-talented saxophone player, has appeared in most of the important Hungarian jazz and world music bands and regularly plays with Kalman Balogh’s Gypsy Cimbalom Band and Fanfare Complexa. Janos Lang was also a founding member of Fianna and is currently involved in well-known bands from his base in Edinburgh.

Promoter Keith Farnish was contacted by Janos as they were seeking sponsorship for a small UK tour. In return for the promise of gigs, the Hungarian government would pay for travel and accommodation as a way of promoting the diverse and fascinating musical heritage of Hungary.

Keith responded almost immediately, realising that a six-piece band with such an array of talent would be an amazing act to have at St Boswells Live – the sound of Eastern Europe coming to the Scottish Borders.

He said: “I am always on the lookout for something different to offer, and I think it’s safe to say that Zűrös Banda fulfils that criteria. I’m really looking forward to hearing their huge sound on the St Boswells Live stage.”

Zűrös Banda plays a unique mix of various Eastern-European and Balkan styles. They carefully blend Romanian, Serbian, Gypsy, Macedonian and Hungarian music with elements of jazz and modern dance music styles and create a unique sound that is Zűrös Banda.

St Boswells Live! is honoured to have helped make the band’s first European tour possible.

Providing delightful support will be Perthshire-based fiddle maestro Elisabeth Flett, who is reaching stratospheric levels with her traditional musical talent.

Doors will open at 7.30pm, St Boswells Village Hall – please bring your own drinks and snacks. The music starts at 8pm.

Tickets are available now at the reduced price of £10 (£5 under-18s) by going to St Boswells Post Office, or www.musicglue.com/stboswellslive (includes small service charge). They will also be available on the door for £12 (£6 under-18s).

For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the gig, answer the following question: “Which Galashiels-based band are playing St Boswells Live on January 30 2016?” Answers, including contact detals, to info@stboswellslive.com