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BOSUN HIGGS - A Most Particular Vintage 

BOSUN HIGGS - A Most Particular Vintage 
Wildgoose Studios WGS439CD 

This is a new band name in English dance music, but the names will be familiar to enthusiasts. The fiddle player is the very likeable Taz Tarry, a good man to sit near in a tune session and a fine driving player who has fronted a number of bands including The English String Band and Grand Union. Another face that will be known to festival ceilidh dancers is Neil Gledhill who has played bass saxophone with the Old Swan Band for decades now.

The melodeon player is Keith Holloway from both Random and Monty’s Maggot. The percussionist is Carly Rose from that powerful unit, Token Women, and the banjo player Martin Banks has also played previously with Taz.

This is straight ahead, no nonsense English dance music played in an exhilarating manner at danceable speed; music that pleases the ear as well as the dancing feet and from the opener, Fred Pigeon's No. 1 / Babes In The Wood, we know we are in for a good time.

Traditional tunes mix in with newer ones, several made by Taz, and they fit well with melodies showing fine interplay between fiddle and melodeon, underscored well by sax and banjo. Perhaps the element that gives the band its distinctive sound is the nifty and varied percussive sounds in what seems to be a fairly minimalist kit with good use of woodblocks and bells.

The band was formed in 2019, not the best time given the looming pandemic, but as we put that behind us and festivals and dances return to full activity, this band is likely to be to the fore.

Vic Smith


This review appeared in Issue 145 of The Living Tradition magazine