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SISU Records SISU003

This band - Rosie Davis, Sandra Kerr Janet Russell, Peta Webb - may be the groovy aunts/sisters/insert the appropriate relation here/ you’ve always wished you had. Be that as it may, they are also pretty exquisite singers, each well established in their own right, and have been singing together for 26 years. Oh, and did I mention? They have one or two things they’d like to say. Things about the NHS, immigration, the menopause, corrupt governments…just the small themes then. But you won’t find much po-faced soapbox moralising here, serious and sincere as the messages are.

Sandra Kerr’s Can We Afford The Doctor? about the threats to the future of the NHS, is in a music hall style which belies bitingly on-target lines as “if only the rich can afford to be sick / how cheap are the lives of the poor”. The album is rich in contemporary, politically-aware material, with the band themselves collaborating on No Change There and Just Menopausal Old Me, as well as providing passionate renderings of songs like John Martyn’s Don’t You Go My Son, Matt McGinn’s Deep In My Heart and Geoff Lawes’ excellent Dear Fatima. The presence of three traditional songs, Polly Parker The Collier Lass, Free And Easy For To Jog Along (Peta’s crystal-cut glass voice and Rosie’s dancing feet – perfect) and Fine Gyang Featherin’ Oot, prove that courageous, female feistiness is not just the domain of the post 1960s generations. The four voices blend in delicious harmony, whether unaccompanied or underpinned by guitar, concertina or autoharp. My only regret is that they’re not really my groovy aunts/sisters/insert the appropriate relation here/ after all.

Clare Button


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This album was reviewed in Issue 94 of The Living Tradition magazine.