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P.I.G - No Fiddlin’ 

P.I.G - No Fiddlin’ 
Private Label PIGCD001 

With over 28 years behind them and a spring tour every year, Feast Of Fiddles is a familiar feature on the folk circuit. Never afraid to cover things that are a little outside the ‘folk’ bracket, the band has fiddles at its heart. This, however, is an album is by the rhythm section of the band, with not a fiddle in sight – hence the title. P.I.G stands for ‘Pretty Interesting Group’, and its interesting members include Hugh Crabtree (melodeon and vocals), Dave Harding (bass and vocals), Martin Vincent (guitars and vocals) and Alan Whetton (saxophone, keyboards and vocals), and between them Dave Mattacks and Simon Price share drums and percussion duties, with Dave also adding some keyboards.

The material here is diverse. There are tunes and songs from band members, and songs and tunes from elsewhere, including a hat-trick of songs from the pen of Clive Gregson. There are also a few trad numbers thrown into the mix. There are folk-rocky moments, touches of soft jazz (especially where the saxophone is featured), and hints of bluesy rock and soft pop (including The Eagles’ hit, After The Thrill Is Gone). It’s Gonna Work Out Fine is lifted straight from its setting by Ry Cooder, and features well-played guitar. Hugh Crabtree’s melodeon comes to the fore in the more traditional styled numbers, which might be of most interest to these readers. An atmospheric rendition of the trad tune, West Wind, moves swiftly into the song, Peatbog Soldiers, and a rocked-up version of Peat Fire Flame via Go And Enlist To Be A Sailor in an eight minute set. The lads are joined by guests Alice Crabtree and Cassandre McKinley who help with some of the vocals in places.

This album is something a bit different and sounds very like a backing band having fun. These numbers will no doubt add a bit of variation to a Feast Of Fiddles gig, though I suspect that the fiddle content will rightly remain the focus.

Fiona Heywood


This review appeared in Issue 145 of The Living Tradition magazine