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An Albion Christmas

23 Mar 2009

£7.49 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 23 Mar. 2009
  • Release Date: 23 Mar. 2009
  • Label: Talking Elephant Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 Talking Elephant
  • Total Length: 51:24
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0025YWA20
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,206 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 16 Nov. 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Albion Band has a history stretching back to the early seventies. During that time, over a hundred different people have been members but Ashley Hutchings has been there throughout. Ashley had a brief spell with Fairport Convention before setting up Steeleye Span with Tim Hart and Maddy Prior. As Steeleye Span became (like Fairport Convention) a folk-rock group, Ashley quit and formed the Albion Country Band, which soon became the Albion Dance Band before finally becoming the Albion Band. I say finally, but for this album they call themselves the Albion Christmas Band. It isn't the first Christmas album that the Albion Band have recorded but it's the only one I've heard.
The line-up for this album is Kellie While (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, keyboards), Simon Care (melodeon, drum, morris dancing), Ashley Hutchings (vocals, acoustic bass guitar) and Simon Nicol (vocals, acoustic guitar, tambvourine). Of all the instruments used, the melodeon is the most noticeable, giving the album a very distinctive sound. The three vocalists sometimes sing in harmony and sometimes sing alternately, while there are some songs where one or other sings solo. There are also some narrations - not too many, and they are worth hearing. This mix provides for plenty of variety within the basic traditional folk sound.
The songs are mainly traditional English folk songs although the group wrote some material in a similar style as well as covering a Jackson Browne song (Rebel Jesus). All of them blend in well together. The songs cover wassailing, polkas and Morris dancing as well as themes that are common in contempory Christmas songs.
If you enjoy traditional English folk music (especially from the south of England), this is the Christmas album for you. And you can play this lively, upbeat album as background music, or you can give it dedicated attention - it is enjoyable either way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An Albion Christmas is a folk rock Christmas album from the Albion Band.
Ashley Hutchings has always been in the group and joining him are Simon Nicol, Simon Care and Kellie While.
This is an excellent release with a good solid Traditional feel to it. There is narration between the music that helps to give the album style that takes the listener on a journey through winter and Christmas.
There is a good choice of Traditional songs and some good additions by the band.
This is a really good folk album in the "living folk" vein. Keeping Tradition alive through the changing face of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. F. BOLAM-PEEL on 13 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some unusual stuff on here. Engaging, thought provoking in places, just jolly in others. Decent value for money. Typical 'Albion'.
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A lovely bright collection from my favourite band. Nice to have some wassail music too, even if in this part of the world it should come a bit later.
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Ok, I like the Albion Band and that sort of thing anyway. However, I particularly find that the best Christmas music is traditional, or in a folk style. Christmas "pop", in the broad sense, tends to be either trivial or sickly sweet, or just a mediocre rendering of some standard performed by whoever last won Britain's Got the X Factor. On the other hand, the best Cathedral Choirs in the world can do faultless performances of intricate arrangements, entirely without the spirit or oomph that some of these tunes need.
This album mixes traditional Christmas/midwinter/wassail songs with some original melodeon tunes by Simon Care and some reasonably modern (20th C) songs by Jackson Browne and Sydney Carter (best known for "Lord of the Dance"). The style varies according to the content; thoughtful when appropriate, but otherwise with the singalong or folk dance style that traditional Christmas music should have. Some poetry or spoken word is also included, melded with the music.
I've given 5 stars because you can't do parts of a star. I'd rate it at 4.5 otherwise. It falls slightly short of perfect because of some of the spoken pieces, specifically Sir Roger de Coverley and the bit about Cecil Sharp observing his first Morris dance. These are interesting, but don't bear listening to repeatedly, which is what I found I was doing to the rest of the album.
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