The Hellblinki Sextet
REGEN Magazine
Eccentrik Festival, 2007

Posted by-Ilker Yücel

... the festival began with an intriguing appearance by The Hellblinki Sextet. The group's live setup was rather unorthodox, but impressive in its execution as each band member took on multiple instruments throughout the course of their demented yet delightful set. Fronting the group behind a minimal drum-kit, while strumming away at his guitar, was Andrew Benjamin, wearing his toothy grimace on his pasty-white façade while donning a top-hat. Singing in a low, humorously seductive drawl and singing behind that almost psychotic smile, Benjamin is backed by the operatic voice of Valerie, who also plays keyboards (including the accordion) and xylophone. The trio is rounded out by an upright bass, as the music brings to mind the bluesy jazz noir atmosphere of the Weimar Republic, taken to an extreme that would make Voltaire blush. It's as if Nick Cave were possessed by the spirit of Screamin' Jay Hawkins, with Abby Travis on backup. What the band may have lacked in actual stage movement, as each musician stood rather firmly in their positions behind their instruments, their unique musical approach and appearance did add that extra element of theatricality to it, such that the audience (scarce as it was so early in the show, yet still showing assured signs of anticipation and enthusiasm) could be drawn into their dark yet somewhat cartoonish world....