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HADRIANíS UNION - Aural Borderalis

HADRIANíS UNION - Aural Borderalis
Whap Music WW0011

I don’t know about you, but once I have read the track list, the first thing I do when I have a new CD is to listen to the music. It is only then that I look at the editorial information supplied, to try and obtain a fuller picture of the group or artist. Listening to Aural Borderalis for the first time, I was mistaken in the thought that this was a group of young musicians - an initial standpoint garnered by the overall style and impression of the music. They undoubtedly play their instruments exceedingly well, indeed their style supports the aloof ‘League of Gentlemen’ bravura and panache, inherent in their group portrait on the centrefold. They have been likened to the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, but for me this is perhaps a step too far. It’s true there is a zany quality to some of the music, but I feel that, occasionally, the lyrics let the songs down. Song writing is very personal to each composer and what will pass with one writer would be consigned to the waste bin by another.

There is something for everybody on this CD though; the range and style takes in almost every genre imaginable. Union Song is, as you would expect, an invitation to man the barricades and join the union. Nothing wrong in that, except the song feels somewhat outdated and a little trite. Who knows if we will ever see the power of the Unions’ return in any significant form - time will tell. Liesl is a very beautiful waltz-time tune which is a great counterpoint to other tracks on the album. English Eccentric is a sardonic dig at the upper classes and possibly where the Bonzo Dog reference may have been attributed.

If you like your folk slightly political, edgy and whacky with a smattering of traditional music thrown in for good measure, then Aural Borderalis will not disappoint.

John Oke Bartlett

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This album was reviewed in Issue 122 of The Living Tradition magazine.