I wanted to put up their sadly unforgettable performance of Kashmir, but Blogger won't embed. But you can go to YouTube directly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axfxboOXj-w&feature=related
At first it seems ok, cool even. An established quartet like Kronos do an interesting arrangement of "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix and the heavens don't fall. It is just a cool and innovative encore piece for a particularly hip string quartet. But don't kid yourself. It may start out sort of cool, but pretty soon you have French string quartets doing the Beatles, then you say, why not electric violins, after all Laurie Anderson used one? Then you start thinking about sexy costumes, dance moves and after a while, what music you play becomes pretty much irrelevant. At the end of that road lies Escala, the particularly embarrassing English quartet who, with their miniskirts, their plastic violins and their choreography, make one wish the string quartet had never been invented. Honestly, the only thing lower on the slope than this would be if they interspersed a little pole dancing in between.
What happened to Simon Cowell, didn't he have the reputation for being nasty and critical? Has he gone soft-headed? Escala makes one long for those halcyon days gone by when we had the classical refinement of Bond: