I haven't purchased an Albion Band CD since "Rise Up Like The Sun" many years ago, so I was interested to hear this. I put it on The CD player without looking at the cover, and was listening to track 3 "Coalville" when I recognised the female voice. This I thought is "Thea Gilmore" - I have several of her CD's and been to a couple of concerts - a very talented singer/songwriter. However when looking at the sleeve notes I found that the singer was in fact Katriona Gilmore. They sound so alike that they must be sisters but I can find no information on this on the Web. Can anyone help? As for the CD - pure class. "Coalville" and "How Many Miles to Babylon" are exquisite renditions. The arrangement of How Many Miles brings back the eerie impression that the Nursery Rhyme made on me as a child. The rest of the tracks don't lag far behind either. The great tradition of this excellent band has been upheld.
Why is it so important (IMHO) - because the "folk rock" I like is dominated by more elderly artists/groups. Nothing wrong with that - but we need something which springs from these roots and takes it to a new, young audience - I hope this does because I loved every track. Great singing, great electric guitars and modern songs alongside fiddle, accordion and folk material in a perfect mix. Superb!
Ashley Hutchings did the right thing here. While his former Fairport buddies are still milking the "Liege and Lief" legacy with yet another greatest hits compilation which they maintain is "By Popular Request" , Tyger has given his imprimatur and backing ( and the Albion brand name ) to the excellent young band his son has formed. We first encountered Blair as a happy toddler , pictured in the arms of Chesterfield FC star Steve Norris , on the sleeve notes of "The Guvnor Vol 1" back in the day. How wonderful to see him emerge as singer/musician in his own right and contributing to a really wonderful album.
This band sounds really tight and seriously talented. They don't remind me of Fairport Convention. Neither do they remind me of any Albion Band line-up that I recall. But to the band's great credit they do have a sense of the sadly short-lived Eighteenth Day of May - most markedly in their brilliant reading of Phil Beer's "Set Their Mouths to Twisting". ( To remind us of TEDM is a very good thing indeed.) I love the vocalising and Kathriona Gilmore's mandolin on this superb track. I suspect Kathriona is a very gifted individual as she also contributes a hugely imaginative new song "Coalville" which is a total grower. But the singing and instrumentation are superb on every track and the arrangements are nuanced , punchy ( as required ) and always rivetting. This is , by miles , the best folk album I've encountered in the last few years.
One small defect , in my humble . I prefer The Albion Band 1979 version of "One More Day" - one of the greatest ever folk-rock cuts ( on the aforementioned "Guvnor" ). That lyric had John Tams gleefully reminding sailor Johnny that he had only 24 hours of happiness left with his sweetheart before returning to a lonely sojourn on the stormy main. The 2012 Albion have an ecstatic sailor telling his "honey" that he'll be home from sea in a day ! This more optimistic view of things will not do at all. The dramatic tension suffers horribly. This is traditional music , Albion Band , - keep it bleak !!
I saw them live a month or so ago and they were superb. This album reflects their current set list and has a concept album feel. The music is tight and urgent and the boys and Kat have breathed new life into the Albion Band format.
This is destined to be one of the Folk Rock albums of the year. A nice mix of Traditional Songs and tunes, interspersed with self penned numbers. They are touring the festivals this summer. Catch them live if possible. Buy this record !
Ashley Hutchings has passed on the baton to his son and a top quality line up of younger talent. It all seems new and sparkling with a vibrancy and urgency that grabs your attention form the start and never lets up. Yet you also feel a sense of continuity with the older versions of the band that were led by Ashley.
Having seen them recently at Butlins(!) Skegness when Ashley made an appearance with them this sense was re-inforced even more so. Older material mixed with the new meant a storming show with all round contributions from everybody.
The material they have recorded is a splendid mix and match of the traditional, the new and excellent covers. I can't really praise this too highly - album of the year for me so far
It is so very refreshing to see so many great reviews of this release. I thought, wrongly, that traditionalists would give this whole thing a slating. I cannot say this is the Albion Band with balls, as they always had them, but they have just got bigger. There is so much power in all of the songs on board, other than where subtly is required and then it is here with abundance. Like most all of this bands releases the whole adventure holds together through its various attributes. This has beyond doubt brought a new faze into the old and well respected guard. Without outdoing anything before the band has just moved on, please let no one begrudge them this because so much homework has been done to come to this point. If this is all too much about the past, then just enjoy this for what it is, a great release of above average traditional music.
The stark acapella `calling-on song' "A Quarter Hour Of Fame" takes a knowing pop at the industry known as `pop' for, if Simon Cowell were to take even the slightest interest in a `folk' band I'm sure he wouldn't know what to do with them. So, in a track that lasts a mere 44 seconds it would appear the new line-up of The Albion Band mean business much like their predecessor. Forthright views conveyed with a passion were always part of the original band's make-up thanks due in no small part to the lyrics of John Tams and I'm pleased to say Katriona Gilmore (fiddle) and Gavin Davenport (guitar/concertina) continue in that spirit. Of course, an Albion Band wouldn't be The Albion Band without the inclusion of at least a couple of trad arr: songs/tunes and in this regard they don't disappoint with re-workings of "Adieu To Old England" and the downright shanty-rock anthem treatment of "One More Day" where the trademark Stratocaster sound (once provided by Sir Simon Nicol) will leave any festival-going audience with a smile a mile wide. The rest of the band; Blair Dunlop (guitars), Benjamin Trott (lead guitar), Tom Wright (drums) and Tim Yates (bass/melodeon) really are a great `engine room' providing rock solid rhythms and I'd say in conclusion that the band's name and music is in safe hands. In the words of the great David (we are not worthy) Essex "Rock On"!
I'm probably going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I think they are better than Blair Dunlops Dads original band!! This was such a refreshing listen, combining modern elements of folk rock with traditional English Folk Music. A must for any Folk-Rock lover, even if you're not that keen on the original 'Albion Band'.
Been a fan of the ALBION BAND since the late seventies in its many guises as dance or Christmas band. The latest incarnation must not be missed. There is a reworked set their mouths to twisting has a rockier edge than the original. All tracks on this album must make Mr Hutchings proud. Excellent first album from the rebooted band well done hope many more are waiting.
The new generation / membership of the Albion Band has done a good job continuing the high standard and traditions of the past. The tracks were varied in style, as one would expeect from the Albion, with the result that not all were 100% to my personal taste, but overall I thought the CD was really goood and well worth buying. My highlights were 'How Many Miles to Babylon', 'Faces', and 'Adieu To Old England' which were excelent. One of my reasons for buying the CD was to see how Katriona Gilmore fitted into the lineup but although the answer was that she fitted in and contributed well I didn't think that her written contribution 'Coalville' was her best. Nontheless it was a really good buy.