Sunday, March 11, 2012

Roby Lakatos: hungarian gypsy music

I have loved Roby Lakatos since I heard him on the Rodrigo y Gabriela track Ixtapa.

I remember playing it in the car with my mum and we kept listening to it over and over again to hear the tremendous violin solo that kicks in at 3.15.....

I had no idea who the violin player was before I looked it up, so didn't I feel like a pleb when I learned it was Roby Lakatos, one of the world's greatest virtuosos and a living relic of the great Hungarian tradition of gypsy violin music.

When you watch Roby Lakatos playing, it's like watching a sort of surreal caricature of a gypsy musician. He is a blend of huge mustache, bushy hair, unfeasibly stubby fingers and deadly musical precision.



I scoured his website several times a year to find out if he would ever come to the UK, and low and behold, a couple of years ago I happened to go on the website and find out that THAT VERY SAME EVENING, Roby Lakatos and his band were playing in Bristol. I booked tickets immediately and we went and saw the most extraordinary concert that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Special mention goes to the Roby Lakatos band whose members were all younger than me (shame) and absolutely peerless, especially the cimbalom player Jeno Lisztes.... my second favourite Hungarian.


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