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King Ahtu – Threepenny Bit

Mar 25, 2020

Now then what have we here? Reviewer rubs hands in anticipation of wonders within. The only thing that’s a bit distracting is a huge egg on the cover perched on a leather chair. Never mind, one spin is enough to convince that investing in Threepenny Bit is well worth it. Where have this crew been hiding? According to the accompanying blurb, the band have evolved over a decade to become a funky, ceilidh inspired, groove machine; we’re not talking small potatoes. ‘King Ahtu,’ apparently means great dancer and this is a perfect soundtrack to anyone’s jiving. They seem to have sprung from a similar root to the old Albion Dance Band, whose ‘Prospect Before Us,’ defined juiced up country dance and courtly tunes for some years and then the Oysters pushed the envelope somewhat further. The Monster Ceilidh Band morphed trad into techno – ain’t no limit – but it seemed most forgot that original Albion fusion, but not this crew.

Here are ten tracks each structured around a trad tune or self- created melody that then gets their treatment and with eight of them grafting away the results are as wide as a Hampshire sunset. They’ve used the studio to enhance what they can present and therefore advance beyond what might be predicted for them. Prodcuer Pete Ord has taken the eight piece and sculptured a very satisfying production which really should grace your music machine as soon as possible. Theirs is a polymorph sound with classical, jazz and rock all thrown in alongside the roots. Their costumes are as colourful as the music all flamboyant and flashy, outrageous and ostentatious. There’s a lot of sound here and ‘King Ahtu,’ should score many repeat plays for those with open ears and minds. Threepenny Bit’s journey has definitely begun here. Still not sure about the egg though.

Simon Jones.

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