Creativity Magazine

Tankus The Henge

Posted on the 19 February 2014 by Miscriant @miscriant
It is a question that has plagued pondering philosophers of the perfect pitch persuasion for eons.
What happens when Ska falls in love with Deep South Jazz and they have a love child born by moonlight on the sawdust center ring in a bohemian circus Big Top?
Tankus the Henge.  That's what.
Tankus The HengeBilled as one of the UK's most original bands and adopted by Steam Punkers as their sound, the world of Tankus the Henge has been described as uplifting and wild, dark and heartfelt.
Tankus The HengeA six-piece hailing from London, their sound is a wonderfully heart-racing mixture of Madness and Jazz fused with the sassy, sultry beats of a Latin Tango.  It's a sound that is so alien to anything you have heard before yet hauntingly familiar with the undertone of classic gypsy and Balkan Folk that also runs through it.  If a Circus could sing, this would be it's voice.
Tankus The HengeI went to see them perform at the Gulbekian Cafe stage with Sinead and Ben.  Sinead had messaged the usual suspects ages before with a short note that just said 'I saw them at Lounge (on the Farm).  We have to go'.   I then promptly forgot all about it (my mind has been like an absolute sieve recently, far too much on the go at one time) until I saw her Facebook status about going to see them that night.  God bless you Facebook news feed.  I panicked, grabbed my phone, called the box office, demanded to know if there were any tickets left (there were, just) and bought my ticket there and there.
Tankus The HengeTankus The HengeThank god I did.
Steve dropped me off so I could have a couple of glasses of wine.  I walked in filled with that bubbly kind of nervous excitement that comes with being out on a school night (music gig on a Sunday night?  How very decadent!) and instantly spotted the band.  To be honest, it was kind of hard not to notice them.  Their style is a mish-mash of sharp-suited bohemian faded glamour that has them standing out in a crowd, even a crowd as eclectic as the one waiting for the show that night.
Tankus The HengeThat's another part of Tankus' magic.  In the audience were business men and women, older couples holding hands of glasses of red wine or pots of herbal tea, a festival loving motly crew of dance enthusiasts, another local band (Coco and the Butterfields) and international students.  All were relaxed and having an absolute ball.
Tankus The HengeTankus don't just play songs for you to enjoy.  They put on a show that transports you away to another land.  I commented to Sinead during the break that the lead singer, Jaz Delorean, was a true virtuoso performer who knew how to play a crowd like the ivory keys on his piano.  And the ivory keys on his accordion come to think of it. 
Tankus The HengeTankus The HengeThis is a band that doesn't have just one strong personality in it though.  All six members bring a distinct individuality to the band that somehow just meshes together to form one cohesive unit that is like nothing else that I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing before.  There is a reason they were one of 2011's Top 10 Acts To See At Glastonbury.
Tankus The HengeThe majority of their material was all unique although they did indulge with a couple of covers, one of which had Ben particularly excited and singing at the top of his lungs.
Tankus The HengeAs the evening wore on the audience got swept up in the zeal and energy of the performances and the dancing started.  Initially it was located (politely) to one side of the stage and then gradually took over as more and more people took to their feet. 
I managed to record a little snippet of a couple of their songs as no matter how hard I try, I just can't capture them in words.  To give you a better idea of their style, check out their Cakewalk Official Video as well.

As the evening pressed on the windows steamed up, music blasted out across the campus and for a short period of time people could forget the stresses and worries of their day jobs and just be carried away with the beat.  Sinead and I were not immune either and soon were dancing away with the rest.
Tankus The HengeIn case it's not clear, I am strongly recommending you try and see Tankus the Henge in action for yourself.  They play at venues all over the country, so keep an eye on their website  (I've just ordered their album from there) and their Facebook group for information.  They have promised to return to Canterbury, and I will be holding them to that.
Tankus The HengeUntil you do get to see them though, just try to remember, Smiling Make The Day Go Quicker.

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