Link to Living Tradition Homepage





FEAST OF FIDDLES - Sleight Of Elbow

FEAST OF FIDDLES - Sleight Of Elbow
Private Label FOFCD007

There’s certainly some experience in this band, not just in performance but also in musical influences. Heavily anchored in folk but also in jazz and rock, Feast Of Fiddles feature six fiddles (of course) as well as the melodeon of Hugh Crabtree and the drums of Dave Mattacks, with guitars and bass from John Underwood, Martin Vincent and Dave Harding. Throw into the mix the sax and keyboards of Alan Whetton and you can see that it’s an eclectic mix, which can also be said of the fiddle styles. Peter Knight, most famously associated with Steeleye Span and now with Gigspanner, is joined by Garry Blakeley and Ian Cutler, not to mention Brian McNeill (ex-Battlefield) and Tom Leary (of all sorts of bands). There’s Chris Leslie, who needs no introduction. And finally Phil Beer - but not on fiddle and only on three tracks!

But what of Sleight Of Elbow - is it any good? Of course it is. All except Phil play on every track, making sure that it never becomes samey as players interplay with others, whether fiddle and fiddle, or fiddle with other instruments. Hugh’s melodeon drives things along whilst the bass and drums keep things together.

Favourite track? Surprisingly it’s the big band sound of A String Of Pearls featuring the sax, but I find the linking of March Of The Siamese Children and Led Zeppelin’s Kashir an inspired choice, bringing out the rock singer in Chris. There’s a couple of other songs which add to the variety and breadth of this CD, including Butterfly’s Wing, written by Alan and featuring his keyboards and the emotive voice of Chris.

Mention must be made of the excellent artwork and sleeve, with the production of Dave Mattacks adding to the overall enjoyment of this fine album.

Dave Beeby

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 120 of The Living Tradition magazine.