Naomi Frankel

Hampstead Synagogue held a fundraiser on Sunday night to launch their 125 year Anniversary celebrations. “Troika,” the Klezmer Hot Club performed brilliantly to rousing applause. Combining humour with insight, Wally Fields (Piano and Narration), took the audience on an exciting odyssey from the romantic Left Bank Paris of the 1930s to the wild Steppes of Cossack Russia and into the dark dens of Jewish Odessa of the 1920’s. He was joined by the outstanding musical talents of Paul Gregory (Jazz Manouche Guitar), Matthew Heery (Guitar and Mandolin), Owen Bryce (Trumpet) and Allan Stratton (Double Bass). Troika provided the audience with an authentic experience, overflowing with the passion and energy of this hugely influential musical period. The hall was packed with an enthralled audience, who swayed and tapped to the beat. A range of songs were performed and all greatly enjoyed, from the classic wild Yiddish wedding tune “Nigun,” to the moving “Along the Mourom Road” by the Russian Red Army. This was a personal favourite and I found myself captured by the slow emotional tune, weaving the story of a road from which no soldier returned.