Sunfishing SUN2409 CD

The Nottingham-based outfit has been around for over twenty years and this wonderfully dinky package - a multimedia release containing CD audio and video tracks proves just how years of gigging have honed its graceful, seductive music to the proverbial T.

There’s a warmth in evidence here, betraying a band deliciously lost in the music and the music is a wide sweep of folk, euro doodles, rootsy world – in fact they were pick ‘n mixing long before it was fashionable.

Patrick Gray’s mandolin underscores the opening ‘Stoney Hill’ and Dave Walker’s expressive singing is just plain convincing throughout. With a guitar, fiddle, harmonium sound plus bags of deft percussion, theirs is nevertheless a subtle experience that draws on the tradition but takes it to places that probably wouldn’t have occurred to it!

The songs sit comfortably within their idioms, from the taut war-weary lament of that first track to the touching humanity of ‘July Wakes’ – a treasure of a lyric that we have to thank a Mike Harding album for bringing to our attention many years back.

A rewarding listen - you’ll readily lap this mini-album up. It fizzes like a well-shaken bottle of bubbly!

Clive Pownceby