The cultural highlight of the month so far? definitely a night out at the Barbican, witnessing the genius musical stylings of Goran Bregović, blending his usual Balkan foot-stomping with monologues from Irish actress Lisa Dwan. Bregović is brilliant. The music of south south-eastern Europe is infectious. Check out some of his best-known tunes such as Kalasnjikov and Mesecina. Both of these feature in the amazing Serbian language film Underground (Podzemlje) directed by Emir Kusturica. A turbo-charged, magical-realist history of bonkers Belgrade, it's one of the most darkly hilarious movies you can wish to see. Bregović's music is woven right into the fabric, inseparable from the action, much the way the zither of Anton Karas is a huge part of The Third Man.
Thoughts of Bregović sprang to mind on hearing a tune from a UK act, Sam and the Womp. It's a belter and it's good to see the band name checking Bregović as a key influence. Perhaps it would be unkind to describe some of the brass work in Bom Bom as taken straight from Kalasnjikov. But there's a firm nod in that direction. But Sam & co. are doing something new with it, so this is fine and dandy.