Bellevue Rendezvous

While Rome Burns


A SCOTTISH-based trio with a French-sounding but actually Edinburgh-derived name, Bellevue Rendezvous find inspiration across a wide arc that includes the Scandinavian countries, Galicia, Poland and Armenia as well as sources closer to home.

This third album begins with a carefully measured tune from fiddler Gavin Marwick that could easily be Eastern European in origin and instantly signals the group’s ease with material that soon finds them dovetailing fiddle, its keyed Swedish cousin, the nyckelharpa, and cittern in sometimes dizzying dance meters and tunes that combine soulfulness with celebration.

As with Swedish masters Vasen, who are just one of their many influences, Marwick, Ruth Morris and Cameron Robson have developed a natural choreography where their instruments’ roles interchange and create a wealth of colour, contrast and vibrancy as exemplified by the closing Armenian dance, Hicazkar Sirto.

Robson’s Piping the Fish, despite its slightly wacky origins, is hauntingly ceremonial and in typical Bellevue Rendezvous style, slips with apparent effortlessness into the traditional Source of the Spey, and the Galician pairing of K and Jota da Gheada underlines the fun, as well as doubtless considerable playing time, that goes into creating music of such high calibre.

Rob Adams