Link to Living Tradition Homepage






EDJ records EDJ019

Megson produce music which is very much for today, but is steeped in the rich history of their native North East of England. Their sources reflect the communities, many of which have disappeared, in which they grew up and obviously have a love of and respect for. They have the ability to search out the quirky, whilst also reflecting the sensitivity of that area and also the sadness which was always present. Indeed, In A Box starts with the true story of a local mining disaster, told with simplicity and starkness. However, as often in life itself, this is followed by a humorous rendition about Bet Beesley and what happened on her wedding night.

The title track is one which everyone will be able to identify with and is a great piece of writing. It is sung simply, but with tons of emotion. You might need a hankie at the ready! Old Folks Tea is by Tommy Armstrong – aka the Pitman’s Poet - wonderful words and a great piece of social commentary. The traditional Still I Love Him is given a welcome airing here with the man being a pitman rather than a fisherman as in many versions.

In amongst these tracks are some excellent original songs which show Stu and Debbie’s increasing maturity as song writers, the proof of which is the way they sit comfortably alongside the older material. Dirty Clothes is about this growing up but not growing old business, whilst Songs To Soothe A Tired Heart is excellent - it’s a lullaby reflecting the parent/child relationship.

Stu and Debbie provide most of the vocals and instruments, but there are contributions from the likes of Seth Lakeman, a trio of members out of the Willows and lovely backing vocals on Still I Love Him from Jess Morgan.

In A Box is Megson’s sixth album and is probably their best. This particular area of nostalgia is now firmly theirs, but is not music of a bygone age as it is rooted firmly in the present and will be still be relevant in years to come. I feel another BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination coming along. Maybe this time they will win. They deserve to.

Dave Beeby

Secure On-line mailorder service
Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 102 of The Living Tradition magazine.