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as if…
No Masters NMCD35

Blinding close harmonies, superb choice of material and superbly engineered, this is another triumph for this Yorkshire trio, in this their eighth outing for No Masters (not counting their numerous collective efforts with other camp followers).  Some items shouldn’t make sense – for example an unaccompanied Keep Your Distance (Richard Thompson), a song that ought to demand  a heavy duty guitar backing, but is sublime and on repeat on my player. Robert Burns’ Slave’s Lament drifts into a song intended to be called the Gaol Song, but mistyped as Goal Song in umpteen places (I blame the World Cup myself). Lester Simpson’s We Got Fooled Again is one of those almost perfect songs, with lyrics that make you stand to attention, brilliant tune and executed with panache. As is their wont, there is the customary First World War song (this time post WW1) – Spring 1919, almost a piece of Music Hall were it not for the subject matter, and a Michael Marra song that is right on the money (Silence).

Even if instruments are your bag, I urge you to give this a try – these guys have voices to match the best folk instruments – and their chemistry together, borne out of the soggy end of twenty years of touring and festivals, makes this a really tight, joyous affair.  Now when are you coming North of the border guys? There’s plenty of CB&S supporters here – and this CD is the best calling card you could have produced. Turned up trumps again chaps!

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 85 of The Living Tradition magazine.