As I've mentioned before, I have a baby. Which means that I also have no social life. None. Whatsoever. So when the opportunity came to go out for an evening I was initially a bit confused; how does it work again? Going to see a film seemed a bit dull. A play; a bit of a busman's holiday. A meal; we eat all the time. A gig however; now you're talking. Live music, there's nothing quite like it. So a quick look at Time Out online for music on Friday 4th July threw up, well, not much to be honest, certainly not much I'd heard of so I decided to be brave and take a punt. Critics choice was Lubo Alexandrov's Kaba Horo ('raw dance') described as an: 'Exhilirating Quebecois-Bulgarian outfit mixing up Balkan dance, tuneful Roma ditties and Turkish melodies, alongside funk, jazz and drum 'n' bass, led by guitarist Alexandrov'. Mental, let's do it.
Cargo is one of those trendy East London spots with overpriced tapas and clientèle competing with each other for the most creative hairdo. There is graffiti on the walls of the bar outside, one piece by Banksy now behind a protective perspex shield (which kind of defeats the object of graffiti doesn't it?). As we ate and drank, savouring the relatively pleasant summer evening, the area filled up with London's Balkan community and soon enough it was time for us to head in and start nodding our heads.
Lubo Alexandrov himself is a tall, cheeky looking chap who played guitar and with him was a bassist, accordion player, a guy on flute type thing, drummer and percussionist. You'll notice my lack of knowledge about the exact instruments and indeed any of the many musical influences but what proceeded was a fantastic night of music and dance. For those in the know there were lots of traditional tunes which got many of the crowd dancing and jumping up and down. For a few songs we were treated to a belly dancer who wore the biggest smile of the evening and inspired a couple of the crowd to jump up on stage and have a go themselves. All of the musicians were fantastic, each given their own moment to shine, and combining all of the different styles with energy and humour.
Visit their website to hear some of the music and if you ever find yourself at a loose end in London and you see their name on the bill anywhere, take a punt. You may just have the best night out in, well, like I said, ages.