Dances of Resistance

What’s really great about Guilfest is that you get such a wide variety of music that every year there are always one or two pleasant surprises and this year Babylon Circus are one such surprise. Despite being formed fifteen years ago this is my first encounter with the ten piece French band who blend a variety of styles from ska and reggae to jazz and gypsy folk.

Most of the lyrics are sung in French but it really makes little difference and if anything adds to their appeal as the stage show is so entertaining. All ten of them come across as real characters, constantly playing out amusing little choreographed scenes with each other whilst delivering a highly polished performance. The three piece horn section is great and on a sunny day this is perfect festival music that just begs to be danced to. Singer Biloul sports a broad grin throughout as he never stops moving about the stage, cajoling the crowd and enhancing their infectious appeal yet further.

Throughout their set they manage to mix up differing styles whilst never losing their groove and the longer they play the more people in the crowd start moving and perhaps more notably, smiling. This is feel good music that’s exceptionally well presented and Babylon Circus turn out to be one of the most enjoyable bands of the whole weekend. Think Gogol Bordello with a dose of North Africa and hefty slab of French charm and you won’t be far off.