Out-of-the-box performance


Musical trio The Squeezebox is anything but ordinary.

They’re a mix of jazz, gypsy, Greek, bluegrass, Romanian, flamenco and even beat-boxing, says accordion player Thomas Hodson.

“Don’t expect a set of standard jazz. We definitely try to make our live performances very fun, diverse and energetic.”

Based in Sydney, Hodson met fellow band mates Michael O’Donnell, violin, and Javen Sanchez, guitar, while at university in Australia.

It started off with O’Donnell and Sanchez jamming, and Hodson accompanying them on piano. He bought an accordion online and that’s when the band really got off the ground.

The first gig was a fete, which would determine the type of music they’d play.

“We had to play a whole day of fun street music. As we were a little bit green we didn’t really have a long repertoire of swing tunes so had to fill it out a bit. I don’t know who suggested it but we all liked Disney music around that time and it went down really well.”

The Disney tunes stuck and are mixed with Russian drinking songs, European Balkan tunes and a bit of banter from the boys.

While the genre is a melting pot, they draw inspiration from musician Stephane Grappelli, who popularised gypsy-jazz music in Europe in the 1930s. As keen songwriters they are always looking for new ideas.

Hodson: “I myself bring in Greek and Romanian, our fiddle player brings in a bit of bluegrass and our guitarist Javen brings in flamenco rhythms.”

The Squeezebox hasn’t played Queenstown before and is planning to spend some time in the resort after the gig, taking in the sights — and squeezing in some bungy jumping.

The Squeezebox plays The Sherwood, December 27, 6pm. R18. Tickets $20.