• Ben Lee

Live at The Penthouse - Tshok (EP Review)

Updated: Jun 18

Tshok

Live at The Penthouse

13 June 2020


EP Rating 4 / 5

Live Potential 4.5 / 5

Solo Performances 4.5 / 5

Favourite Songs The Dome, Kolomeike

The debut EP from Leeds' newest world music group Tshok has dropped - a crazy fusion of womping North African, Balkan, Klezmer and Drum'n'Bass influenced sounds.


Having been a part of the Music:Leeds Launchpad scheme over the past year, they have enjoyed funding to produce this EP amongst gigging in the local area in Leeds, Huddersfield and York as well as an appearance at London's Remixed Festival earlier this year. The resulting EP Live at The Penthouse was recorded in a single day (at The Penthouse Studios in Leeds), with the aim of capturing the raw energy and spontaneity of Tshok’s live shows.


'Bulgar' immediately throws you deep into the Klezmer feel, as Tshok generate a high energetic force with their music, usually displaced by half-time interludes to help separate and blend together different sections. The feel in 'Bulgar' moves from stomping to jigging with ease and the clarinet and trombone solos radiate the folk-Middle Eastern style. The tenor sax leads 'The Dome' with a powerful, strutting melody as the bari saxes provide a low end drive with the rest of the rhythm section. This tune is particularly bouncy and seems to be growling and purring in a Nubian-inspired funk spirit.

'Kolomeike' starts with an alluring saxophone melody before the Klezmer and Balkan dance feel comes in quickly, as Christine Pinkard's clarinet solo here is very nimble and vibrant. Tom Caunt's laud solo adds the Balkan flavour to this tune before Johnny Burns' guitar ripples through with an equally impressive solo.


The speed of the horns section in Tshok is astounding and there never seems to be a moment lost as the melodies interchange with great fluidity, with the rhythm section constantly on the pulse. Whilst the Klezmer and Balkan sounds are not too common outside of the gypsy jazz circles, their sound is refreshingly bright and upbeat and the merging of so many influences does not impinge on the quality of the music they make. Tshok are a fantastic addition to the growing jazz and world music scene in Leeds, with Live at The Penthouse illustrating you'll be in for a terrifically wild time at one of their performances.

Buy and stream Live at The Penthouse here:

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Follow and keep up to date with Tshok here:

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Tshok are:

Christine Pinkard - clarinet, composition and arrangement / Pete Williams - tenor saxophone 1 / Dom Lodge - tenor saxophone 2 / Stephen Unsworth - baritone sax / Emily Overend - baritone sax / Richard Warrington - trombone / Johnny Burns - guitar / Tom Caunt - laud / Hugh Noble - bass / Colin Byrne - drums.


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