FESTIVITIES REVIEW: Warsaw Village Band, St Johns Chapel.

The harsh and powerful voices of the three women members of the six-piece Warsaw Village Band were impressive but they dominated the Chichester Festivities concert.

Magdalena, Sylwia and Ewa sang far too close to their microphones accentuating their loud “open-throated“ singing which had the effect of making all the songs sound the same.

Their voices were matched by the aggressive playing of the violins and dulcimer. This style of folk music had no place for the gentle caressing of the violin to produce sweet and beautiful sounds.

There was no description of the songs in the programme and the little introduction given was difficult to understand. I am sure many were bemused.

The three men of the band (Piotre -Baraban Drum, Pawel Double bass and Macief – percussion were really no more than a backing group for the women.

The band came with the highest recommendations. The musicians have given acclaimed performances all over Europe, won two BBC awards for folk singing and won the Polish golden violin award.

I was really looking forward to this concert and felt either I did not understand or I had been cheated. Looking round the packed audience I saw three people smiling broadly and obviously enjoying the music but equally there were bewildered looks and even pained faces.

Judging by their polished performance there can be no doubt of the Warsaw Village Band’s love and enthusiasm for their Polish national music heritage. For me I still prefer the sensuous and timeless folk music of Britain and France.

Graham Hewitt