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LONAN - Forever Has Flown 

LONAN - Forever Has Flown 
Private Label LONCD01 

This CD is the debut CD from a Leeds based folk trio who perform a mixture of traditional and original material. They consist of useful songwriter and talented vocalist/musician Robin Timmis, and vocalist/musicians Evan Davies and Katy Ryder. Whilst all three contribute greatly to the overall sound, it must be said that – to this reviewer at least – in Ms Ryder, they have a singer blessed with a special voice: one with the potential to open lots of doors for the group.

I very much enjoyed her singing on the opening track of The Cuckoo, sounding more like Anne Briggs than Anne Briggs. And that is not really adverse criticism, because I genuinely admire her ability to produce the exact same vocal timbre. All I would say though is Katy needs to try and put her own stamp on the songs more, because by golly, she has the raw materials in spades.

Liked Evan’s mandolin playing and also his vocal on The Wreck Of The Dandenong, an Aussie song about the 1876 disaster. I have not heard it since my last visit to Oz. I admired Robin’s brave tackling of difficult subjects in his song-writing... particularly his Following Orders, which reminds us that veterans of the Falklands War are often shamefully forgotten by the rest of us who banged the drum at our victory.

Two points from the liner notes: my eyebrow was raised reading not that they first heard Loudon Wainwright’s The Swimming Song on Desert Island Discs – that’s fair enough - but at the words following... viz... “the major source for all great folk singers”. Eh? Thou canst not be serious? And please remember re the track King Kanute that the king did not try to turn back the waves to show his omnipotence, but quite the opposite: deliberately to show his lack of omnipotence.

That aside, they can be proud of a solid first album.

Dai Woosnam


This review appeared in Issue 141 of The Living Tradition magazine