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NETTLEBONE - Revel & Rhyme 

NETTLEBONE - Revel & Rhyme 
Private Label 

Nettlebone regard this as a concept album and there's nothing wrong with that. After all, what were Frost And Fire or Leviathan if not concept albums. Folk is full of them and they can't all be mould-breaking. The band describes Revel & Rhyme as “a collection of self-composed English historical ballads”, starting with The World Turned Upside Down. It is not, however, the Leon Rosselson classic, since recorded by the world and his wife, but an entirely different song credited to the Forrest brothers, Dominic and Justin, who are the backbone of this project.

I fear that their compositions are not destined for the same sort of folk immortality. They are, though, capable of sounding pretty good. Much of that is down to the instrumental prowess of the other two members of the group. Jude Rees and Jon Loomes are both also part of the acclaimed Pilgrims’ Way and between them they pack quite a punch. Ms Rees tackles English bagpipes, oboe, shawms, crumhorn, recorder and flute, whilst Mr Loomes excels on hurdy-gurdy, fiddle, viola and guitar. Not surprisingly, the whole thing has a distinctly busy feel to it. It all comes together to the best effect on a track like May Day - a celebration of traditions that show no sign of dying out.

Dave Hadfield


This review appeared in Issue 132 of The Living Tradition magazine