Link to Living Tradition Homepage





MIRANDA SYKES - Borrowed Places

MIRANDA SYKES - Borrowed Places
Hands On Music HMCD44

This new solo release by Miranda Sykes presents 11 excellent contemporary songs in her sweetly and entirely winsome voice, set to pleasingly picked guitar figures and some deeply expressive, mainly bowed, double bass.

Introduced as representing “a personal journey…firmly rooted in the time and geography of my youth”, the cover work includes extracts of OS maps centred on Pinchbeck North Fen in her native Lincolnshire and Totnes, her current Devonian domicile. Charged with family and local history, the songs include her father John Sykes’ passionate poetic paean for fenland fieldscape, The Lincolnshire Song, his (co-written) heartfelt pastoral account of the loss of sensory sentience with “nature’s rhyme” consequential on agricultural mechanisation, Forgotten Harvest, and her mother Penny Sykes’ touchingly co-written exposition of her grandfather’s wartime forsaking by a brooch betokened secret sweetheart.

Her other eclectic choices, some linked to past musical associations, embrace Bill Jones’ Panchpuran, Robb Johnson’s The Big Wheel, Dougie MacLean’s Ready For The Storm, Eileen McGann’s piece about Canadian stowaway emigrant and proto-feminist pioneer Isabella Gunn, Chris Hoban’s The Lily & The Rose written for Miranda in connection with Show Of Hands’ engagement with the centennial Shrouds of the Somme project, Swords & Ploughshares (I. and M. Wright), sensitively exploring a conscientious objector and land worker sister’s having to “plough a different furrow” from her fighter pilot sibling, and Jennifer Crook’s atmospherically charged Sea Glass about a sadly stymied love letter.

Emotionally engaging, these clearly enunciated and beautifully expressed songs with their deftly executed musical accompaniment constitute a truly enchanting package.

Kevin T. Ward

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.