Berlin has emerged as one of the great contemporary melting pots and 17 Hippies are surely the finest of Berlin band of the moment. They aren't hippies and there is only (!) 13 of them in their current line-up - double bass, banjo, ukulele and guitar give the rhythmic base, the melodious pattern is supplied by violins, cello, accordion, clarinet trombone and trumpet and there's not a single piece of percussion in sight.
No one really knows why exactly seventeen or why even hippies. But having a name is good, like a road sign announcing a town - it tells you where you are. No one has any idea what's coming up after the town sign, nor has anyone worked out what they were supposed to be doing or even where the 17 HIPPIES are heading.
We know for sure though that they have created a unique musical style, by colliding a variety of mostly European influences, from Gypsy dance to French chanson and German cabaret, with just a hint of anything from ragtime to country to early pop. From Algiers to Albuquerque, Berlin to Bloomington and Canton to Cantabria the unstoppable 17 Hippies bandwagon rolls on relentlessly, leaving crowds breathless but still wanting more.
Despite forming in 1995 it wasn't until the summer of 2009 that they added the UK to the list of over 25 countries to be mesmerised by these first rate globalists, with ecstatic festival crowds from WOMAD to Larmer Tree punching the air and singing in unison to their whirling, crashing, diving, bobbing and weaving collision of musical styles This 13 strong “Rock the World” orchestral phenomenon are driven by boundless energy and razor-sharp interplay. The freshest, fastest, funniest dance band to hit the festival scene in years.