Posts Tagged ‘Molotov Jukebox’

WOMAD 2015: Our 10 Recommendations

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 in Features, Live, Recent posts by .



Criolo, photographed by Caroline Bittencourt

As the Songlines team get ready for the upcoming weekend, they share some of their recommendations

With mere hours between us and WOMAD festival, all of us at Songlines HQ cannot wait to get onsite for this celebration of world music. In anticipation, editor Jo Frost, deputy editor Alexandra Petropoulos, news editor Edward Craggs, contributor Alex de Lacey and intern Elicia Casey-Winter have selected the ten bands we’re most looking forward to this weekend.

And don’t forget that we have an unprecedented number of CD signings at the Songlines stands this weekend, so don’t miss your chance to say hello to some of your favourite artists – and Songlines team members! Find out more about Songlines at WOMAD.

Molotov Jukebox 
– Friday, Open Air Stage, 1pm
This band’s own brand of ‘tropical urban Gypsy’ music is sure to bring out the sunshine this weekend… even if only metaphorically. ECW

Kapela Maliszow
– Friday, BBC Radio 3 Charlie Gillett Stage, 2pm
This family trio – made up of father Jan Malisz, son Kacper and daughter Zuzanna – breathe a delightful new life into Polish traditional music, and all on homemade instruments! AP

– Friday, Big Red Tent, 3pm
These guys mix up Middle Eastern sounds with an urban flare while their lyrics call for freedom and equality; it’s danceable music with a conscience. AP

Totó la Momposina 
 Friday, Open Air Stage, 3pm
The doyenne of Afro-Colombian song makes a long-awaited return to the UK. JF

Tal National
 – Friday, Open Air Stage, 5pm
Looking forward to checking out this band and their alternative, Nigerien take on the desert blues sound. JF

– Friday, BBC Radio 3 Charlie Gillett Stage, 10:30pm
Lots of buzz about this French-Cuban sister duo and their hypnotic Cuban electronic mix, so keen to experience them live.  JF

 – Saturday, Open Air Stage, 3pm
Having rapidly become one of the most important musicians in Brazil, the São Paolo rapper’s hard-hitting lyrics and stage prowess are not to be missed. EC

Hannah Peel 
– Saturday, Bowers & Wilkins Sound System, 6pm
I first heard Hannah Peel sing at Green Man Festival in 2011 accompanied solely by her music box. Since then she’s released a solo album, two EPs, and collaborated on The Magnetic North’s project that celebrated the music of Orkney. ADL

The Very Best 
– Saturday, Big Red Tent, 7pm
I can’t think of a better way to kick-start Saturday evening than with the euphoric groove of this duo of Johan Hugo and Malawian Esau Mwamwaya. EC

Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor
 – Saturday, Open Air Stage, 9:30pm
This celebration of the elusive Nigerian funk maestro follows the rediscovery of his work on Who is William Onyeabor? released by David Byrne’s imprint Luaka Bop in 2013. Already confirmed to perform are legendary saxophonist Charles Lloyd and American-Sudanese artist Sinkane, with a whole host of guests still to be announced! ADL

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Introducing… Molotov Jukebox

Posted on July 11th, 2014 in Recent posts by .

Molotov Jukebox

Charismatic singer and accordion player Natalie Tena chats to Alexandra Petropoulos about her band’s musical inspirations

You might recognise her as a wilding from Game of Thrones or Nymphadora Tonks from Harry Potter, but actress Natalia Tena has another persona that you may not have stumbled across – the fiery lead singer and accordionist for the London-based band Molotov Jukebox.

Through their explosive festival appearances, two EPs and a quickly growing fan base, the six-piece have finally arrived at their debut album, Carnival Flower, five years after Tena began cultivating this side project with co-founder Sam Apley. The success of their steamy, racy fusion can be attributed to each member’s own influences, a vibrant cocktail of all the feel-good genres – Latin, Gypsy punk, swing, calypso and dubstep.

“Each of us brought something,” Tena says. “Sam brought the Balkan side of it and I come from a Latin vibe.” Born in London to Spanish immigrants Tena was constantly surrounded by music as a child. “In my house everyone always played guitar and sang. It was part of my life. They didn’t do it professionally, they’d just sing and play like most Spanish people.”

She eventually started learning the piano but found that classical training just wasn’t going to cut it. “The reason I started was to play rock’n’roll, but I ended up having to learn all this classical stuff. And after I did the grades, I was like, that’s it. Then I did loads of theatre, which involved a lot of music. One of them made all the actors go into this mad attic and pick an instrument. There was this battered, tiny accordion, and it was love at first sight.”

Molotov Jukebox – ‘Give It a Go’

Blending with the seductive horns, Tena’s sultry voice and a city vibe that only London can produce, the accordion has become just one of the USPs of Molotov Jukebox. But it is their sexy, summery mix of sounds, which Tena describes as “tropical urban Gypsy,” that makes Carnival Flower so irresistibly danceable.

The album is peppered with Gypsy swing, scandalous urban beats and even some of the album’s namesake carnival flavour. But there are a few deeper notes hidden among the feel-good vibe. Opener ‘Tread Softly’ is about altruistic suicide, based on the story of Antarctic explorer Lawrence Oates; while ‘Neon Lights’ is their ode to London, or as Tena puts it ‘Mistress London, who is a massive bitch but our best friend.’

“We always wanted to do something about London, and I wanted to put in something about how London is built on the work and sacrifice of immigrants, like my parents, and that’s what makes London amazing.”

Carnival Flower captures the vibrancy of their live shows, showcasing their penchant for experimenting with various styles while at the same time retaining a sense of cohesiveness and a consistent sound that can only be described as Molotov Jukebox’s own brand of ‘tropical urban Gypsy.’


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The new July podcast is now available through iTunes

Posted on June 6th, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


This podcast includes highlights from the July 2014 (#101) edition, opening with music from the new album by Susheela Raman, our cover artist this issue. Songlines editor-in-chief, Simon Broughton, plays a track by East Stepper, a bonus track chosen by DJ Nihal as part of his playlist this issue. There is also music from the eclectic band Molotov Jukebox.

Features: Simon Broughton on Susheela Raman, Julian May with a report on Martin & Eliza Carthy’s new album and Russ Slater on Gilles Peterson’s latest project. Nathaniel Handy brings you the latest news with music by Cecile Kayirebwa and more. The podcast ends with a track by Kimmo Pohjonen.

Download the podcast.

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New Issue Preview | July #101

Posted on May 31st, 2014 in News, Recent posts by .


Susheela Raman has consistently broken through all constraints of musical categorisation. In the new issue (July, #101) Peter Culshaw talks to the British-Asian singer about her new album, Queen Between, and her reputation of boundary crossing.

The free exclusive 15-track covermount CD features ten tracks from our latest Top of the World albums and a guest playlist by BBC Asian Network’s DJ Nihal.

Other features will include Gilles Peterson’s latest Brazilian record with Sonzeira; Martin & Eliza Carthy; a Beginner’s guide to Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen; the Bommerang Project; Sounds of Siam; our the top ten new Brazilian artists to look out for this summer, plus our extensive CD, DVD and world cinema review sections.

On sale in the UK from June 6.

Russ Slater talks to Gilles Peterson about how his Brazilian love affair was the impetus for his latest project and release

The Boomerang Project: Bagpipes meet taonga puoro and didgeridoo in a unique musical collaboration 

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