One of Britain’s most jaunty and eccentric bands, Penguin Cafe, performs this week in Sydney with an eclectic mix of upbeat folk strums, North African strains, a little blues, some classical minimalism, elements of Nyman, Glass, folk, swing, dance, a hint of Calypso and a touch of Celtic fire. The nine musicians in the ensemble were gathered by Arthur Jeffes who sings and plays percussion, guitars and keyboard. Among them this band of multi-instrumentalists plays a spectrum of stringed, percussion, keyboard and folk instruments.
Arthur Jeffes based his concept of the Penguin Cafe on his father Simon’s 1970s band the Penguin Cafe Orchestra which made numerous records in the 1970s and 1980, and had its first majot concert appearance in 1976 supporting German band Kraftwerk. PCO’s music has been used extensively in radio and television.
Arthur Jeffes has successfully brought his father’s legacy into the 21st century with a contemporary twist to the concept. Penguin Cafe was featured at the BBC Proms in September 2010, and comes to Sydney in between performances at the Perth and Adelaide Festivals.
In Sydney they will perform new material composed by Arthur Jeffes as well as familiar themes written by Simon Jeffes – music you’ve probably heard dozens of times and know all too well, but never knew the name of, including his classics Music for a Found Harmonium and Telephone and Rubber Band.
Jessica Nicholas previews the Penguin Cafe for The Sydney Morning Herald:
Tickets from $79. Concessions available; additional fees may apply.
Book on line at www.cityrecitalhall.com or call (02) 8256 2222 or in person at the City Recital Hall, 2, Angel Place, Sydney