Klezma Villanova
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Klezma Villanova

Band Alternative Folk


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"Klezma Villanova - Band Profile"


Klezma Villanova are a young band who draw on the inspiration of gypsy music to help them create their frenetic tunes. The band will launch their new EP at the Red Lion in Twickenham with a gig at the venue this Thursday.

Guitarist Joe Whitney-Fish tells Will Gore more about Klezma Villanova’s Romani way of working.

What do you have planned for the EP launch?

We’re going to throw a massive gypsy party at the Red Lion in Twickenham on Thursday. Also playing will be our friends The Musical Differences, Beans on Toast and Swing Youth. We will be selling our music on a digital rug – you’ll need to be there to get your hands on one.

Tell us about the EP.

Over the past few months we have been recording a batch of new songs at MonoTwin studios in Hampton. It’s not so much an EP, more a representation of where we are as a band right now. I have used a classical guitar more in these recordings and our friend Rob Skipper played fiddle on two of the tracks. This has given the record a more authentic sound. The new material is sounding great and I can’t wait for people to hear it.

Is the Twickenham/Red Lion scene a good one to be part of?

For sure, there are some amazing bands round here. Twickenham always seems to churn out good music.

Does the band draw inspiration from the area’s rich music history?

In a traditional sense not really, yet I think it would be hard for any musician living in the area not to be inspired by it. I love sitting by the riverside with a guitar, the view from Richmond Hill seems to write its own songs.

What inspired the band’s gypsy sound?

I have always been fascinated by Romani culture. When I first heard gypsy music I was instantly absorbed by its infectious melodies and the passion in the music. The Romani people use song as a way of escaping the hardship of day-to-day life, so it’s an idea we try to incorporate in our music.

Other influences?

I love writing lyrics. If you listen to our songs, you’ll hear little sayings and fables entwined in them. Most of my inspiration for the lyrics comes from interesting people and things I’ve heard them say. One of our new tracks, Eden, is about a family finding it hard to settle and who are constantly on the move. My own family became a big influence on the lyrics in that song.

When did it all start for the band and how did you all meet?

Myself and front man Ryan grew up together in Twickenham and started the band about three years ago. I first met Dave B Miller, our bass player, at a solo gig he was doing in the Red Lion and, after watching him play, I instantly asked him to join. He’s written some beautiful acoustic folk songs. Our drummer, Harrison, is the newest Klezma Villanova member – he has some serious technique.

Best moment so far?

Knocken Stocken festival in Ireland this summer was a highlight. Also, being in the studio over the past few months, I just love hearing ideas finally come together.

Most embarrassing moment so far?

Playing after far too may drinks is never a good idea – I’m glad we found that out very early on.

The Klezma Villanova EP will be released on December 10 and it can be downloaded from www.klezmavillanova.bandcamp.com. The launch party at the Red Lion, Twickenham, is at 8pm on Thursday (December 10). Check out myspace.com/klezmavillanova and facebook.com/klezmavillanova for more information. - Local London


Rushing the Borders - EP/Demo

All Tracks can be listened to at:



Klezma Villanova are a four piece from Twickenham, West London. The band formed in 2007 in the midst of the incredible music scene that was happening in their home town... Larrikin Love, Mystery Jets, Noah and the Whale. Their music draws influences from Eastern Europe and Asia but always carries a distinctive English, possibly Twickenham, twist.

The band released their first EP/Demo in December 2009 which sees Rob Skipper (Larrikin Love/ Holloways/Musical Differences) playing violin on two of the tracks. The band released their EP on miniature Turkish woven rugs which were imported from a "Man from Istanbul". At gigs fans can pick up the rugs which have a special download code attached.

They played the standout set at last years KnockanStockan Festival in Ireland and have been carving out a reputation in London, Brighton and Bristol for their outrageous performances.

Joe often stands in on guitar with the Musical Differences while David has been playing banjo for Sam McCarthy, another bright young thing to be coming out of the Camden scene. Harry the drummer has played with the likes of Paul Simon, Lilly Allen, The Magic Numbers and was a student at the renowned Drum Tech in West London.

Enjoy the music!