I agree that the only appropriate way to describe this musical genre is "Hamster Theatre." That's what makes it such fun trying to decipher each cut. Or you could just lay back and let the twists and turns take you wherever they will.
Favorite track: Bur Di Lie Town So.
Hamster Theatre straddle the edges of folk music, avant-garde, world music, early 20th century French composers, such as Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel, contemporary composition and many other musical forms, bringing together elements of all these styles while never sounding 'just like' any one of them.
Using an instrumentation of accordion, keyboards, trombones, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, guitars, mandolin, bass, drums and percussion, their pieces are always filled with delightful melodies and surprising orchestrations. The end result – an early 21st century folk fusion – is pure Hamster Theatre.
"[Hamster Theatre] make up what is, in effect, a highly skilled chamber ensemble...the CD has a very European feel, offering a literate synthesis of rock, jazz & European folk forms. You can't really put this music into a tidy little compartment, but it's unforced, sophisticated & highly entertaining." 4/5 stars (Outstanding) - Alternative Press
released January 16, 2001
Dave Willey : accordions, harmonium, melodica, keyboards, bass, guitar, percussion, violin, etc.
Jon Stubbs : trombone, keyboards, electronica, guitar, bass, percussion, etc.
Mark Harris : saxophones, flute, clarinet, recorder (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 15)
Mike Johnson : guitar, mandolin (1, 2, 6, 9.10, 12)
Mike Fitzmurice : acoustic bass (2, 10, 12, 15)
Raoul Rossiter : drums (1, 2, 5, 6, 12, 15)
Greg LaLiberte : clarinet, bass clarinet (2, 11, 16)
Mark McCoin : drums (3)
Kent MacLagan : acoustic bass (11)
Jonathan Bangs : trumpet (12)
Carmel Kooros : voice (7)
Helena Winkerman : composer of first melody (1)