La Cucina - Nabúmla (1996)

La Cucina was a roots style band of the 1990s, that went under the tag-line of «accordion-driven funky neapolitan rockers»(!). Although they were based in the South of England, their music was an amalgam of Southern Italian folk songs and disco and salsa beats. They were famed at the time for their wild concerts, and lack of wild living – on arrival in a new town, two members of the band would head for the local library. They brought out a series of cassettes, in which they explored Neapolitan music. Later, they produced 3 CDs in which the instrumentation and production is of a much more contemporary nature, with influences such as Tom Waits and Madness. They played throughout the United Kingdom, as well as France, Spain, Germany and Italy - Wikipedia

Likened to everyone from Les Negresses Vertes to Madness, La Cucina were a fun and fundamental plank in the development of UK roots music of the early 90s. They were formed in Southampton, England, in 1988, from the ashes of indie band Who’s In The Kitchen? Originally a trio of Owain Clarke (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Dylan Clarke (bass/vocals) and Eliseo D’Agostino (accordion), they concentrated on recreating Neopolitan-styled songs. However, after performing as a seven piece at a Southampton pub, with Scott Tobin (drums), Jock Tyldesley (fiddle) and a Sikh priest on tablas, they decided that the band needed to have a more eclectic musical foothold. Enthusiastic audience receptions confirmed that the more dance-orientated their sound was, the better. Tobin joined on a permanent basis, with Rob Greenstock (conga; ex-Steam Kings) completing the line-up in October 1991. They side-stepped musical categorisation by employing Cajun fiddle alongside the percussive force of rave music, Latin American piano and skewed, highly original songs roughly in the spirit of Neopolitan standards - Keep Media

Finally, a review of Nabúmla:

What have we got here? A Bulgarian gypsy band, a South American latin orchestra or a British pop group? The answer must be all and neither. The group in question is La Cucina from Great Britain and the music on their new album ‘Nabúmla’, released in the beginning of March, as the follow up to their debut album ‘Chuchería’, is a mixture of lively latin rhythms, melancholic gypsy tunes and pop-jazz fusions with a twist of roots and world music. The lyrics are performed in British English on all the tracks except on ‘Villa Laterno’ and ‘Naked in the Sunshine’ which are in both English and Spanish. The latter is a cheerful singalong, which could easily be a holiday hit in the coming summer. All the tracks, though, have catching lyrics and are originals from the whole band (five members). […]If you want to cheer yourself up one day, or you’re going to have a party, La Cucina’s music is definitely the kind to put on the CD player. It is almost impossible to keep your body still when their music comes pouring out of the loudspeakers - Djembe Magazine, no. 16, April 1996

So, are you still waiting? Download and have fun!

Link in comments


Radu said...


Anonymous said...

Still influential - I keep hearing stuff leaning back to La Cucina

Anonymous said...

As an ex-member of La Cucina, still trying to make a living from music, I feel sad that it's available for free download. OK, rip off the millionaires, but how about buying La Cucina albums?

Radu said...

first of all, welcome in Babe(b)logue. Well, I think that maybe, thanks to my post, some new people can discover your band, and maybe be tempted to search and buy other La Cucina albums. Anyway, if you think differently, I can remove the link whenever you like. Please, let me know. In the meantime, enjoy your stay here in Babe(b)logue.


S.Celli said...

Answer to Anonymous EX-Member of La Cucina.
1st) The album posted here are so beautiful!
2nd) How could I know and buy your records here in Brazil?
3rd) Instead you feel sad, you fell all right because many people, as me, are knowing your job, and perhaps if it's possible wil buy your original edition
4th) Thanks to Radu to show us this gem and let us open our musical knowledges.

Cheers from Brasil!
Sergio Celli

S.Celli said...

I'd just deleted this album from my HD. I won't buy it too!

Anonymous said...

nice blog.

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