If you lived around Broad and South at any point in the 00’s, the weekly Balkan Dance Party gigs at Tritone starring West Philadelphia Orchestra were the stuff of legend. A scruffy young brass band, sometimes upwards to 20 people strong, playing high-energy traditional music from eastern Europe until closing time…it didn’t have a lot in common with the dance music of the era, but you knew people were going to dance.
The party called it a day last year, and Tritone stopped hosting live music earlier this year – the end of an era, for many – but thankfully, a few of those WPO throwdowns were captured in audio, and will be released as a live album next month.
Says the band of West Philadelphia Orchestra: Live at Tritone:
There was something really right about the pairing of WPO and Tritone. The acoustics were terrible, it could be insufferably hot, dance space was hard to come by and the carpet smelled like 15 years of spilled PBR. But it was very red, you could get buzzed quickly, Dave and the staff were terrific, and we do miss the place. We hope you all enjoy hearing this as much as we do. We hope it brings back memories. And if you partied real hard and have only very hazy memories, hopefully this disc clarifies things.
The album release will be celebrated next Thursday, July 5, in a show at Underground Arts; stream a track below, and get more information on the venue’s website.