Review Archive

‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ by The Hut People - ‘the epitome of eclectic’

(September 20, 2014)

‘Since first hearing these guys back in 2010, I’ve heard phrases like ‘quirky bordering on bonkers’ or ‘nothing prepares you for this’ used to describe their sound – for me, the best I can Cabinet of Curiosities the hut peoplecome up with is ‘the epitome of eclectic’. For a slice of folk that encompasses ‘something completely different’ and more besides, you could do little better than listen to The Hut People. With a world-spanning source of influences mixing traditions from Britain to Scandinavia with Eastern European to Africa, added to a selection of self-penned tunes and arrangements brought to life through a mix of accordion-driven energy allied to an overwhelming assortment of percussion, you have their latest album ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’.

The Hut People are accordionist Sam Pirt and percussionist Gary Hammond, with a list of percussion devices as long as the proverbial arm, in fact only Mr. Tickle could provide arms long enough. Predictably enough for those that know their music, ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ opens with a effervescing arrangement called ‘McCusker’s’ by fiddler and whistler Colin Farrell, and ‘Väsen’ their rather ominous take on the wonderfully titled, ‘Nitti Pomfritti’ by Swedish band ‘Väsen’, both displaying the infectious originality and shimmering vitality one would expect. With a change of pace, there’s the delightfully languid and entrancing ‘Polska After Hins Lars’, the intricacies of ‘Fife & Drum’ grabbing your attention and holding on tight, and the pulsating rhythm of ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’. To experience a fine example of sinister and threatening folk, go no further than the dark tale of‘Stor’ then it’s right back with a rave-up to ‘Karen’s Birthday’.

This album definitely leaves you with that ‘something completely different’ feeling. It also lets you experience a duo taking folk places it never expected to go but feeling so much better for the outing. 

Listen to ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ and you’ll hear Sam Pirt (accordion, piano accordion) Gary Hammond (playing absolutely everything percussive you can imagine from Berimbau, Cajon and Djembe to Klangauge, Rainstick and Zabumba) and Alan Jones (electric bass). ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ from The Hut People releases on 7 October on Fellside Recordings – were I you, or me, I’d buy a copy.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

Click here to return to the Review Archive page