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Klezmer-inspired world folk group Moishe's Bagel dough-ing fine as they line up shows across north including Findhorn, Drumnadrochit, Lyth and Ullapool

By Kyle Walker

MOISHE’S Bagel aren’t together all the time – but when they are, they make it count.

The world folk fusion troupe have been in the thick of rehearsals ahead of shows across the country – with a slew of north dates lined up.

But being professional musicians, they’ve had to keep various other irons in the fire.

“The thing with being a musician, you’ve got to get lots of things on the go all the time. My other life is as an academic and I’ve been working on an article about accordions!” pianist Phil Alexander laughed.

“And then our bass player Mario has been busy with his jazz work, and fiddle player’s been playing with an orchestra of some sort which I think today or yesterday was playing at Buckingham Palace at some...well, I don’t know if it’s important, some fancy event of some sort.

“But he’s kind of a republican so I think he just had to get his head down and get it done!”

Returning north for a string of dates include venues that Moishe’s Bagel haven’t been able to bring their brand of jazz-flecked world folk and klezmer-inspired music tofor more than a decade. “It’s not that we’ve been avoiding these places!” Phil laughed.

“It’s just scheduling doesn’t always work out the way that you hope it does, there’s always this kind of balance between your diary and the venue diaries.

“And also in our case it’s because we do so many other things, it can be hard sometimes to find tour dates. So the result is that years rather than months go by until we get to visit a venue again.”

It’ll be a welcome return to the north for a group who first formed 16 years ago in Edinburgh.

What brought the band together might not seem immediately apparent, however. “It was not the music we’re playing now, it was actually four of us got together playing tango music!”

Phil explained: “I was actually quite newly arrived in Edinburgh from London, I was playing some salsa music up here and I met a singer at Henry’s Cellar Bar who was a Chilean singer called Valentina Martinez. And I spoke to her and she said she was starting a tango band.

“I don’t know how it is in journalism, but I imagine it’s similar – music relies on these sudden, often quite spurious connections where someone picks up an idea and runs with it.”

Moishe’s Bagel play the Universal Hall, Findhorn on Saturday; the Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit on Sunday; Lyth Arts Centre on Thursday; and the Ceilidh Place, Ullapool on Friday, July 5. For more info, go to www.moishesbagel.com

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