Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available

Bellow (bel'o) v.i. "to utter a loud, hollow sound; roar, as a bull." Er, thanks Funk & Wagnall but in this instance that is simply wide of the mark. Loud? Sure, but in all the right places and why not when you're their age? Hollow? In no way - full, solid and with no apparent cavities.

Not the firstt album - 'Through & Through' appeared some two years ago but this is, one suspects, the one that'll consolidate the word of mouth and media hoopla that has been building since. Are they then, the next Wood & Cutting? A latter day Dransfields? The new Posh and Becks even! It's all such fruitless pondering. The usual reviewer's adjectives such as energetic, enthusiastic and feisty are inadequate when applied to releases such as this and nothing can prepare you for the swaggering sound and edge unleashed from this CD.

You'll have heard how they grew up immersed in their parents' Folk interests and LPs, how they're refreshingly (Oxford-based) 'English' whatever that is, how Boden's fiddle and voice combine with Spiers' melodeon to electrifying effect, how they were THE talk of the seafront at last year's Sidmouth, and how they carried away this year's Folk "Horizon" Award? No? Well you should stay in more, listen to Radio 2 and catch up with your reading.

This CD is the work of genuine individualists, though ones who acknowledge their mentors. Carthy and Bellamy are in the equation along with an instrumental influence from Barry Dransfield and Magpie Lane's Ian Giles, a Morris background in Spiers case, and an overall eclectic taste mix that takes in The Doors and Tom Waits.

An impossible potpourri then? Again you'd be off target. 100% Trad. /Trad.arr. Songs, here are versions of such as The Prickly Bush, The Outlandish Knight, Copshawholme Fair (especially impassioned) that reassert the relevance of tradition in a world. Add to this, driving Morris and Country Dance tunes and you have an addictive album that demands repeated listening. John and Jon are sure of themselves and cocky enough not to be intimidated by their own good taste.

A superior recording and one which takes some beating.

Clive Pownceby

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 53 of The Living Tradition magazine.