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THE GYPSY QUEENS

The Gypsy Queens Lon­don

★★ The name may sug­gest a camp Gypsy Kings trib­ute, but th­ese five guys do straight­for­ward ver­sions of songs we know and love (plus a few we know and loathe). Led by singer/gui­tarist Di­dier Cas­nati, The Gypsy Queens be­gan busk­ing 12 years ago and even­tu­ally worked their way up to ser­e­nad­ing the likes of El­ton John, Rod Ste­wart, Bono, Chris Martin and Prince Harry at restau­rants and pri­vate par­ties. Their de­but al­bum fol­lows The Gypsy Kings’ blue­print, blend­ing French, Ital­ian and Latin favourites such as Sy­math­ique, Vo­lare and Malaguena with such US West Coast clas­sics as Ven­tura High­way and (aaargh!) Coun­try Roads. Lead track L’Americano features chanteuse Madeleine Pey­roux, while Gra­ham Nash jumps on board to help out on Marrakech Ex­press. Great har­monies, fun at­ti­tude, but hardly a great leap for­ward for World Mu­sic. KEVIN COURT­NEY Down­load tracks: L’Americano, Marrakech Ex­press

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