Reviews / Paul Brady – Unfinished Business

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unfinished business

Once Paul Brady made albums that hit you smack between the eyes, Hard Station was the kind of record which thrilled you from the off, one listen you were hooked and couldn’t wait to hear it again. The songs were about life, love and experience, tracks were five minutes plus. When the man had something to say… Read more »

Reviews / Clarion – Pagoda Project

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pagoda project

This album has been bobbing around for a couple of years and was thrust into my hand recently. The Pagoda Project is Paul Hutchinson, from Balshazzars Feast, and Karen Wimhurst, from, well, just about anything from the ENO to climate change circus shows (I kid you not). Now I generally get twitchy and start eyeing… Read more »

Reviews / Pretty Peggy – Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys

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Hanging out at various folk festivals over the last year or two, I’ve noticed that there’s been a noticeable group of young revellers who seem to spend as much time watching and listening out front as they do performing on stage. From my occasional observation point in the bar, this might have been just a… Read more »

Reviews / FolkEast 2017: A tale of fish, chips, onion ‘road kill’ and Pop Up Pirates

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Categories: Festivals | Music | Reviews

From the above headline, you’re probably wondering whether FolkEast involves any music at all. However, the admiring comments from musicians before, during and after the event support the view that FolkEast is muscling its way through the crowds to become one of the most enjoyable folk music festivals of the summer. Arriving onto the grounds… Read more »

Reviews / Decade: The Best of 2007-2017 – Lau

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lau decade

While the organisers of pop and rock festivals bemoan the lack of headliners in a world where musical careers seem shorter than ever, it’s great to find one of the UK’s finest folk acts celebrating ten years under the spotlights. So, here, Lau arrive with 12 tracks on their ‘Decade: The Best of 2007-2017’ in… Read more »

Reviews / Cropredy 2017. Friends and Fairport at Fifty!

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Categories: Festivals | Reviews

fairport convention

Simon Jones spent a weekend in a quiet corner of north Oxfordshire.  It’s mid-afternoon Thursday, Cropredy hasn’t begun yet, as I wait in queue for a drink, two women are in heated debate about who has the more vitriolic arguments with their respective husbands “ well, there was the time he said…” “ that’s nothing,… Read more »

Reviews / The Bounty Hounds – Boxed In

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bounty hounds

Boxed In conjures up any number of cliches from finding a pub on a Saturday night with a band playing folk music to swaying, drunk with your mates and singing (badly). And too be honest this matters not a jot. These are songs loved by the band and you can feel it. To invoke a… Read more »

Reviews / Boo Hewerdine – Swimming In Mercury

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Many of you will be familiar with Boo Hewerdine as the unassuming sideman to the likes of Eddi Reader or as a solo troubadour with a dry sense of humour. To date, it’s in that latter guise that most of his solo records have paraded themselves. Well watch out; paddling up the creek he comes… Read more »

Reviews / Wrangled – Angaleena Presley

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Angaleena Presley

It’s easy to forget that the development of music into its diverse genres has taken place across just a couple of generations. That means younger artists are able to draw from their parents’ music collection as much as their own contemporaries. So, whilst Angaleena Presley’s ‘Wrangled’ is a tirade against the workings of Nashville, it’s… Read more »

Reviews / Room With A View – Old Blind Dogs

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With a 25 year history, a back catalogue of 13 albums and a group of musicians as experienced and as talented Jonny Hardie, Aaron Jones, Ali Hutton and Donald Hey, I’m not sure this is the album to introduce yourself to Old Blind Dogs (OBD). It seems to lack a heart which is no doubt… Read more »