Back To The Taverna

03/11/2023Berlin Five-Piece Cherry Bandora Releases Enrapturing, Bouzouki-Fueled Album On Rebel Up! / RUMI Sounds

It's times like these that make us want to return to the safe haven that is the local tavern. Where you can leave whatever worries you may have at the door and indulge in life's simple pleasures: good food, a drink or two or three, random conversations in the company of total strangers who may or may not become friends for a night and, of course, a sensual soundtrack to fan the flames. Very much familiar with these types of settings, Cherry Bandora celebrate both the sound and culture of the Aegean on their latest full-length titled "Back To The Taverna". 

Cherry Bandora is a sultry five-piece based in the Berlin melting-pot neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln. It is there that Liad Vanounou (bouzouki), Lorena Atrakci (vocals), Moshe 'Moosh' Lahav (keys & flute), Tamie 'Hassan' Chen (bass & sitar) and Nimrod Lieberman (drums) joined forces to create a virtuosic, bouzouki-fueled signature sound rooted in Greek rembetiko and tsifteteli, Jaffa's '70s Hafla, Turkish psych, surf rock and, well yes, Mediterranean tavern culture as a whole. "As descendants of Mizrahi Jews (Jewish migrants from non-European countries) who grew up with the Beatles and Umm Kulthum, played jazz music at school and now live in Kreuzkölln, it's important to us to present this shared heritage in the context of today's global music scene," Lorena says.

No sooner said than done, "Back To The Taverna" delivers an infectious, high-proof blend of Mediterranean styles with lyrics in Greek, English, Turkish and Hebrew, a resounding tip of the hat to those who came before, i.e. better and lesser known tavern legends the likes of Grazia, Levitros, Aris San, Stelios Kazantsidis, Vasillis Tsitsanis and Roza Eshkenazy. Rest assured, once you hit play the party is on, no matter if you are punching numbers at your day job or lucky enough to be comfortably seated amidst all the action, a carafe of house wine in front you as waiters rush by to bring you and everyone else their meze and the night magically unfolds around you. Released in collaboration with Rebel Up Records and RUMI Sounds, these eight tracks (ten for the digital version) are absolutely enrapturing and bound to make for some unforgettable shared moments. Just let yourself go. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom