May 11, 2014 reviews… Future Folk Orchestra @ The Great Escape
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, reviews… Future Folk Orchestra @ The Great Escape


Future Folk Orchestra - prog-folk collective hailing from Latvia


The Hope - Queens Road, Brighton @ The Great Escape

Was it full? And how were the crowd?

The room upstairs at The Hope is one of the smaller venues at The Great Escape, so even with the venue packed to capacity it was a pretty intimate affair, but it was a great fit for this Latvian group’s dreamy, futuristic folk grooves.

So what was the set like? What did they play?

Just the 30 minutes on the clock for Future Folk Orchestra, whose instrumental set consisted of some pretty adventurous grooves underpinned by mixture of funk, hip-hop and more traditional folk rhythms. Led by some harmonising twin flutes and backed up with keys, accordion, strings and mandolins over a bed of drums and bass, their music was the perfect antidote to some of the ear-bleeding volume we’ve been faced with over the course of the festival. The music was set around the theme ‘Antarctica is Melting’, with some incredibly beautiful flute parts leading the way.

Any good between song banter?

Not so much, which is fair enough considering that English isn’t their first language, but instead the songs were seamlessly stitched together with recurring samples of a hypnotic voice reading what sounded like Native American poetry. All very relaxing and pretty mesmerising.

Did they put on much of a show?

The lead flautist was particularly lively but other than that the vibe throughout the whole set was very chilled, which suited the music and the venue perfectly. There were some rousing moments too though, led largely by the drummer getting the crowd involved in some hand claps while sticking the boot into his kick drum.

What was the highlight of the set?

Set closer Mountain was one of the highlights, a hauntingly beautiful string-led number, as were the free shots of mango and blackcurrent liquor being handed out, which was described to us as being ‘like a Latvian Jaegermeister’. It had a bit of a kick to it…

Where can I catch them next?

We don’t know, everything on their Facebook page is in Latvian, but they’ll be playing shows around Europe, we’re sure.

Future Folk Orchestra - Sweet Desert River

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