From: New Folk Sounds
Oct./Nov. 2008, nr.119
Nights in Attarin
by Palio-Paréa (chara)
In my opinion Palio-Paréa belongs to the top of the "Dutch" music scene since the release of their last album Rendez vous. The beautiful rembético music on that record can still carry me away from time to time. The new album is titled Nights in Attarin and it's a homage to the Greek poet C.P. Cavafy, who lived from 1863 until 1933. Nowadays he is one of the most appreciated Greek poets and by adapting his oeuvre the group runs a high risk. Try giving these emotional, political and personal poems the right rendition. Apparently, for Palio-Paréa it's no problem at all. They play the same trick on my mind as last time, the music grabs me and at times brings tears to my eyes. "Epéstrefe" is magnificent, with stirring vocals, high tension instrumental parts and a strong structure; the next song "Keriá" strikes a lighter note but is no less appealing. In fact, the CD starts off strong immediately with "Fonés". Here the ensemble succeeds in evoking a dark, menacing atmosphere that I'm not used to hearing from them but which pleases me very much.
Nights in Attarin really confirms that Palio-Paréa produces splendid music and knows how to weave magic with voices and strings.
From: New Folk Sounds 108
Rendez-vous (Chara 2006)
The Dutch group Palio-Paréa has been in existence for some thirteen years now.
The focal point of their work has always been Greek music, in particular the rembétika (songs). These are big-city songs from the early twenties that often deal with life on the fringes of society. With Rendez-vous the group make a very impressive mark. The album seems to start relaxed for the first minute or two (with the song Ótan dho ta dhio sou máti), but the very moment the strings take over from singer Margôt Schenk’s voice the music drags me along in a free fall. The sound is clear, the vocals a little raw and ragged. Especially the playing of the bouzouki, guitar and other stringed instruments is virtuoso and what amazes me is the way they manage to forge the thirteen songs into a unity. Without boredom setting in the songs seem to merge together to create a sort of musical panorama. I’m not surprised at all that the Greek also value Palio-Paréa so highly. I’ve been boxed around the ears with my fair share of rembétiko music in the past but this Rendez-vous is a record that creeps under your skin. It’s on my list of favourites within the genre.
Eelco Schilder, December 2006
"..REMBÉTIKA AND BLUES HAVE A HAPPY RENDEZ-VOUS IN HOLLAND.."
"..Once more the well-known group Palio-Paréa surprises us with their new album “Rendez-vous”. I have listened to all their records and I like them, but “Rendez-vous” is special to me.."
Panos Savvópoulos, Athens July 2006( read more ) (read Greek version)
From: Filodimos Newspaper 2005-12-2
"...Την Κυριακή, πάντως, μια ευχάριστη έκπληξη περίμενε τους ακροατές του διήμερου αυτού σεμιναρίου. Συγκεκριμένα, βρέθηκε στο Αίγιο (σε μια ευτυχή συγκυρία) το Ολλανδικό τριμελές συγκρότημα "Palioparea" το οποίο παίζει σχεδόν αποκλειστικά... ρεμπέτικη ελληνική μουσική! Πρόκειται, σαφώς, για μια σπάνια περίπτωση, την οποία καίτοι οι παρευρισκόμενοι αντιμετώπισαν προτού τους ακούσουν με κάποια... "καχυποψία", μόλις ξεδιπλώθηκαν οι πρώτες νότες κυριολεκτικά μαγευτήκαμε από τον γεμάτο τους ήχο και φυσικά από τα σπαστά ελληνικά της ερμηνεύτριας. Τι κι αν είναι Ολλανδοί... ο παγκόσμιος ελληνικός τρόπος σκέψης τους επηρεάζει "αφόρητα"!!! Η συναυλία τους, που απέσπασε ενθουσιώδη χειροκροτήματα και ευμενέστατα σχόλια, πλαισιώθηκε από το Μουσικό Εργαστήρι Αιγίου, με το οποίο μάλιστα ερμήνευσαν από κοινού και 2 τραγούδια......" ( read more )
From the TV programme “Rembétiki Istoría – PALIO-PARÉA, Dutch Rembétes” by Panos Savvopoulos (ET3 broadcast: May 2nd 2005. Length: 0.95 hr):
What happened before to flamenco and fado music is now beginning to happen to our rembétiko: foreigners (non-Greeks) who play our music with more enthusiasm and depth than many a Greek ensemble? Palio-Paréa is one of these groups, but they take a special place.
They confront us with our own music in a way that fills us with pride and apparently we need outsiders to make us aware of the fact that the power and the beauty of this music are indeed boundless, universal.
There is more to Palio-Paréa that makes them so special. Their playing abilities are striking and unlike many Greek performers in the genre they add their own strong compositions to the existing repertoire. Besides, the beautiful compositions on poems by C.P. Cavafy prove that they can move easily outside the boundaries of the rembétiko style.
One of Palio-Paréa strengths, and also very important for us, is their ‘nose’ for good songs. Apart from the familiar, traditional rembétika they play obscure songs; almost or completely forgotten material like “Dhen me thelis pia” by P. Tounda which, also because of Margôt’s soulful performance, is going to live a second life……they give us back our own music!
With his composition “Sidhiródhromos” Loek Schrievers, the group’s bouzouki player, composer and musical ‘heart’ shows us how well he understands the ‘classics’ of the rembétiko style and how he can do completely his own thing with them………
“The Dutch group Palio-Paréa presented its audience with a magical evening which they will not easily forget.”
Hydra , Greece 2003
“The Dutch group of musicians Palio-Paréa made everyone ecstatic.”
I Érevna , Greece 2002 ( read more )
“These musicians actually empathized in Greek rembétika and the other songs in which they permeate the essence of the music as much as possible. In our view, the most astounding moment was when the group sang their own composition of C.P.Cavafy ' poem Epéstrefe in Greek. It is superfluous to say anything else about the group. The audience experienced an unforgettable evening.”
Dhialogos , Greece 2002 ( read more )
“ Palio-Paréa play and sing their own compositions in the Greek style, in Greek verse but also in new lyrics which again express some of the Greek ways of thinking. The group has lofty aims with these texts and has set poems of the Alexandrian Cavafy to music, which is an audacious move towards disapproving Greek experts. It is true that the majority of Greek songwriters have, at one time or another, made an attempt to capture something of the great man ( Theodorakis has never done so) and except for ‘Days of 1903' by Chatzidakis none have remained popular. In my view, ‘The Candles' belongs to the Greek top ten, and it can be danced to, preferably by someone as old as Cavafy says he should be.”
Athens , Frans van Hasselt 2001
“ Palio-Paréa pays a tribute to Greek music.”
Difono , Greece 2001
“ Palio-Paréa is excellent at performing in Greek. With their beautiful poetic lyrics and wonderful compositions, they could easily be mistaken for an authentic Greek group. It is not surprising that their previous CD received such a highly favourable review from the Greek press.”
The Greek Island , 2002
“ Palio-Paréa plays Greek music, and its lyrics have a message.”
De Brug , 2003
“The amount of dedication with which the songs were played was enormous. They passed their love for Greek music on to the audience. The audience thoroughly enjoyed this group's excellent performance. It was a fantastic concert.”
Witte weekblad , Hillegom 2003