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ANTOINE & OWENA - Something Out Of Nothing 

ANTOINE & OWENA - Something Out Of Nothing 
Private Label 

Wiltshire duo, Antoine Architeuthis and Owena Archer, got together in 2017, and this is their second album. Their first album, Hands, Hearts & Hangings had registered fairly strongly to generally positive reviews: and this was their chance to build on that solid start. The question then for this reviewer is, have they succeeded?

Well, just like their debut album, this is a combination of self-penned and traditional songs, again recorded at the Real World Studios. Antoine handles main vocals, bouzouki and guitar, whilst Owena supplies harmony vocals and her very accomplished violin. Again, Anf Abbott is on bodhrán, but there are two additional guests here, in Mervyn Harris on bass guitar and Luigi Cibrario on drums.

The album did not start off too promisingly for me, with Botany Bay, the first of the three traditional numbers. Oh, there was nothing particularly wrong with their reading of their variant: and indeed they pulled off a decent inner dynamic and sense of crescendo performing it. But it added nothing new to the myriad versions I have encountered down the years.

Then we came to Polly Anne, the first of their seven self-penned songs, and these interested me a whole lot more than their earnest, thoroughly decent delivery of Aussie classics like the aforementioned, and also track seven, Van Dieman’s Land. Their own songs run the gamut when it comes to subject matter, and are well constructed and convincingly told. Well done. However next album, I‘d appreciate a lyric sheet, if only online.

Dai Woosnam


This review appeared in Issue 134 of The Living Tradition magazine