Live Review: Gypsophilia @ Upstairs Cabaret – June 26th 2013

As my friends and I entered Upstairs Cabaret we were struck by the ludicrous lack of action; why was no one dancing? Gypsophilia was cascading waves of bliss, yet no one was plunging into the enchanting waters. My friends and I began to dance, shyly wading through and splashing about. However, we only fully submerged ourselves once Ross Burns; guitar, pandeiro, zabumba, triangle, and cuica player beckoned the audience to come closer. This beckoning coupled with performing a new song titled; ‘Dirty Circus’ infused the crowd with dancing confidence. One friend remarked that she wasn’t quite sure how to dance to Gypsophilia’s instrumental hybridization; we happily informed her that none of us really did, but that the sound demanded movement.

This incredible sound billowing from at least ten instruments and seven musicians escapes the narrow confinement that words seem to offer. At first the band was similar to catching a glimpse of a child offering lemonade wares upon a suburb corner. The day’s heat and humidity demands refreshment as the music demanded action. Then, that first sip is unlike any other lemonade you have tasted. Although lemon, sugar, and water chords have filtered through your palate before, this lemonade contains deep originality and overwhelming delivery. The thirst becomes a hunger as each following cup only improves by briefly isolating each flavor present.

With seven charismatic members, one finds it difficult to aim attention towards one or all simultaneously. Gypsophilia graciously acknowledges this difference by embedding multiple peaks within one song mountain. Their style suitably fits one of the first songs played; ‘Dirty Circus’. The ringleader, Adam Fine, conducts with a double bass in a double breasted tuxedo. Fine’s fingers pluck innovation and cunning melodies that constructs a tent to perform under. Sageev Oore inspires gasps as ivory keys string a tightrope between disbelief and awe. Oore’s tightrope act, a balance between swing, jazz, indie, and blues, is a bold, effortless sprint from one genre to the next. When asked about this after the show, Oore simply stated that it was the band’s collective ability to share and exchange generic styles with one another; thus creating a reflective mosaic. Or perhaps, one should take the obvious comparison that jumps from the name Gypsophilia; each musician is like a caravan on a pilgrimage. Eventually when the day ends, dusk brings the caravans in a circle. From every brightly colored caravan a different sound emerges, yet they are seeking the same destination. Within this caravan circus, Gina Burgess takes the role of lion tamer. As a violinist, her bow whips invigorating pulsations into the playful lions. Far from conventional, as proven by her violin scratching solo, Burgess wrings soul from strings with a flickering wrist. Across the stage stands the fire breather; Matt Myer. Kindling embers sparked from the synthesizer’s creepy tones culminates with flames blowing from the trumpet. Meanwhile, acoustic acrobats trapeze in a friendly dual, constantly challenging the other into a glorious chaos. Alec Firth and Nick Wilkinson on guitar dangle with enticing refrains, hooks and plucks. Of course there is a clown, self-identified as Ross Burns. It is easy to see why as Burns cracks jokes, asks questions, and riles up the crowd with sing-a-longs, clapping and cheers. As well as, leaping from the stage either with a hand held drum and cymbal contraption or just with a drive to dance among the audience. Burn’s contagious joy encapsulates Gypsophilia’s apparent mantra; to inspire as many people to run and join a circus. I was certainly convinced.

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