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London, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | MAJOR

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2001
Band World Folk




""this ensemble flit accross the diaspora landscape more convincingly than most""

While there are plenty of spirited klezmer bands around, this multinational British-based ensemble flit across the diaspora landscape more convincingly than most. And there’s just enough of a hint of gypsy jazz to entice the Django crowd. The singer Cigdem Aslan adds depth to everything she touches, from the everyday to the tragic, but this is very much a collective effort. The kaleidoscope spins dizzily from Bulgarian to Greece, Odessa and beyond; violin, clarinet, accordion, guitar and mandolin take turns to lead the dance. - The Sunday Times

"4 stars: "impressive exponents of klezmer and traditional styes""

You don't need to travel to hear great global music. She'Koyokh are a multi-lingual eight-piece British band whose members include a classically trained violinist and clarinettist, a Serbian accordionist, an American mandolin player, a Greek percussionist and a remarkable young singer who is a Turkish Kurd. They started out busking in London's Columbia Road flower market, and have developed into impressive exponents of klezmer and traditional styles from Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey and the Balkans. Their jaunty and slinky instrumental pieces include a Russian jazz favourite from the 30s and a Turkish folk tune inspired by the mating habits of goats. They also include an exquisite Bosnian love song, featuring the brooding and stately singing of Çiğdem Aslan.

Robin Denslow, The Guardian - The Guardian

"5 stars: "among the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet""

The award-winning fiddle skills of Meg Hamilton and equally gifted colleagues has established She’Koyokh among the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet and rendered the 15 tracks of Wild Goats & Unmarried Women one of the most striking aural experiences in a month of sabbaths.

Virtuosic violin and clarinet lock in thrilling unison or alternate lighting lead runs in culture-hopping medleys, Bulgarian and Romanian romps and slower-building Greek numbers. Hamilton’s fiddle runs hot over two-to-the-bar Hot Club of France-styled guitar chord changes. A Moldavian dance tune is illuminated by Matt Bacon’s slick Django-esque soloing and Zivorad Nikolic’s amazing accordion acrobatics. Susi Evans’s clarinet chops and Cigdem Aslan’s vocals hypnotise in a more sedate Kurdish song.
Flamenco-inspired guitar, Indian-inflected violin and wheezy squeezebox preface Aslan’s equally soulful singing in sad Sephardic, Greek and Bosnian love ballads. Ben Samuels’s mandolin tremolo sets up double bassman Paul Tkachenko’s guttural vocals in a waltz. In a Bulgarian horo (dance tune) and Serbian circle dance Tkachenko’s tuba provides a bass throb for flying lead fingers and fiddle-bowing brilliance. Vasilis Sarikis’s percussion percolates in a Turkish goat-herding eulogy.

Tony Hillier, The Australian - The Australian

""a smouldering record""

There’s a tension in opening medley, Beregovski Sher / Honga / Freilicher Yontov, between a smooth café-orchestra take on standards and a profound percussion-driven originality. A little later, in Hora De La Munte, Zivorad Nikolic’s febrile accordion and simple stark patterns picked out on guitar and violin, splinter and sway us quietly back to an earlier tradition. Throughout the album, in fact, this is the story of a restless band who keep taking in the next horizon, and the next one, becoming one of the more unpredictable of klezmer ensembles in the process, but also achieving a rare majesty of sound.
Such wandering, of course, is authentic. For fourteen years now, the various band members have journeyed, collected, studied, experimented and honed through a myriad of other projects and skills and influences and countries, reconvening every few years to spark. Last time out, on the assured and exciting Buskers’ Ballroom album, their influences were confined more or less to the music of east and south-east Europe, stretching historically and culturally into the traditional music of Turkey, this latter further explored here, with real verve, in the oddly serious goat- inspired dances of Teke Zortlatmasi.
This is a deeper and stranger journey than the band have attempted before, featuring a preoccupation with spirit in a constantly wide-eyed adventure. There’s manouche and menace in the Romanian Tiganeasca De La Pogoanele, for example, while the desperate Greek lament, Selanik Türküsüis, a love song about illness and imminent death, ranges, as it should, from a fraught quietude to a primal clarinet wail, Çigdem Aslan’s cracked and elegiacvocals caught in a perfectly honest moment.
Location is much more than a place for She’Koyokh, and the band are a convergence point for the wandering wedding musics of the world. After numerous extra-curricular projects, including Susi Evans playing through a brace of atmospheric albums by her other band, London Klezmer Quartet, and a set of storming reviews for Aslan’s luminous rebetiko release a few months ago, comes this smouldering record. The whole is an unsentimental but graceful deconstruction of the familiar, allied to emotional and story-telling vocals and inquisitive and daring playing, through waltz and high drama, almost into revelation.

John Pheby, fROOTS - fROOTS

"5 stars: "one of London's musical treasures, playing the best klezmer and Balkan music in Britain""

She’Koyokh are one of London’s musical treasures, playing the best Balkan and klezmer music in Britain. The eight members come from the UK, Turkey, Greece, Serbia and the US and several have studied with great musicians in the Balkans. With a strong female frontline of Cigdem Aslan (vocals), Meg Hamilton (violin) and Susi Evans (clarinet), they have completely assimilated the various styles and Wild Goats, their third CD, is their most accomplished.
At its heart is a gorgeous song of lost love, Selanik Turkusu, and around it the music is fiery and emotional, lyric and virtuoso with shrieking clarinet and sighing violin.

Simon Broughton, Evening Standard - Evening Standard


Wild Goats & Unmarried Women, 2014
World Music Network's Riverboat Records (TUG180)

Buskers' Ballroom, 2011
ARC Music (EUCD2322)

Sandanski's Chicken, 2008
ARC Music (EUCD2122)



Hailed as "one of London's musical treasures, playing the best Balkan and klezmer music in Britain" (The Evening Standard) and "among the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet" (The Australian), She'Koyokh's evolution spans the humble origins of busking at East London's Columbia Road flower market to performing in the famous concert halls of Europe including Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, the Gasteig in Munich and London's Southbank Centre. As well as TV appearances and live sessions on BBC Radio 3's In Tune and World on 3, She'Koyokh has performed at festivals such as Glastonbury, WOMAD and Cheltenham, and was nominated as Best Group in the Songlines World Music Awards 2012.

Cigdem Aslan, vocals
Susi Evans, clarinet
Meg Hamilton, violin
Zivorad Nikolic, accordion
Matt Bacon, guitar
Paul Tkachenko, double bass & vocals
Christina Strang, percussion
Ben Samuels, mandolin