Eastern Energy - Twelve Girls Band

EMI

There are concerts and then there are 'shows'. When I saw the Twelve Girls Band perform at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, it was a real 'show' like Riverdance, Barrage or Stomp or any other off-Broadway musical production. It's what should be expected though when you start with a novel concept: 12 beautiful girls from mainland China playing traditional instruments (erhu in front - a two string Chinese violin, pipa in the centre - a finger-picked Chinese banjo and a battery of gu zheng - a plucked horizontal harp in back with various exotic flutes and dulcimers thrown in) playing very untraditional western music for the most part. For the uninitiated to Chinese music, the girls offer their renditions of Coldplay's 'Clocks', Riverdance composer Bill Whelan's 'Reel Around The Sun' and even a surreal reworking of Beethoven's 5th. Not all of it translates well but the Far Eastern flavored material is engaging when its powered by such a large (but petite) ensemble. And, it all goes over big in America where their tour was gobbled up like dim sum. Wisely, the disc 'Eastern Energy' gives consumers a CD and companion DVD for the full effect. The Twelve Girls would do boffo box office in Vegas. It's the kind of 'show' that would go well with happy hour and one buck shrimp cocktails.After all, Celine has to take a break one of these days ...