Running Off With Babylon Circus

Babylon CircusI always loved the circus growing up, but I’ll tell you — Ringling Brothers had nothing on the high-energy, French ten-piece Babylon Circus. What started as a ska band in 1995 in Lyon has evolved to include reggae, rock, jazz, and numerous other eclectic influences. But with lyrics in French and English — sometimes both in the same song — addressing social and political issues (like the Iraq war), Babylon Circus isn’t pure diversion. It’s music with a message: get out of your seat and take action, whether it’s marching in the streets or jumping on the dance floor.

Their latest record, Dances of Resistance — released in France in 2004, but just making its way here now — continues to mix the political with the carnival, interspersing full-length songs with brief, circus organ-ridden ditties. Described by some as a French Gogol Bordello, the band has a reputation for electric live shows, as shown in this performance of “J’aurais Bien Voulu”:

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