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S. D. Crawshaw (uk)

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Price: £7.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Bonus, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Revival (Audio CD)
Firstly I must state how much I really like Bellowhead. As far as I am concerned there is no better live band.
I dont want to incur the wrath of other fans, but I have to say that the 'official' CD is by no means their best effort. In fact, I wouldnt rate it in their top three. A lot of the tracks have a feel of album fillers and have a bland 'sameness'.
That said, the bonus CD -WOW!!
Are they playing an elaborate joke on us? The outtakes and demos CD is everything that the 'official' CD should have been. Its a bit quirky, a bit edgy, diverse, powerful, and with great songs and interpretations.
I really feel they should have released the bonus CD as the main CD, ditching Three Drunken Maidens and Josephine (not one of Jons better songs from his first solo CD), and adding Let Her Run, Moon Kittens, Seeds of Love, Greenwood Side and maybe Bright Lights from the official release.
I know this is only my opinion and others would have their own favourites but can anyone honestly say that Jack Lintel, the CDs only instrumental, is a patch on Leviathan on the bonus CD? Leviathan will be a live highlight if it gets played.
They could have saved Gosport Nancy, Roll Alabama and Rosewood Fair for non album singles.
I still quite like the official CD, but I love the bonus. I would highly recommend that you purchase the Bonus Version, which is definitely a 5 star offering.

Centenary: Words And Music Of The Great War
Centenary: Words And Music Of The Great War
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £5.65

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sublime Tribute, 30 Jun. 2014
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What a beautiful album. From the exquisite packaging through to the sensitive reading of the various war poems to the wonderful music on the second album.
Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter are inspired choices for the poetry reading. Such sensitive and heartfelt interpretations.
Show of Hands are on top form with the second album. Augmented by some great singing by Jim Causey and Jackie Oates in particular, the songs are full of pathos and feeling. Tears to the eye stuff! But there are some stirring songs as well, along with a few Show of Hands favourites and popular music of the period. The Gamekeeper is a wonderful opener, and the version of the Blue Cockade brings back memories of a magical night at Shrewsbury Folk Festival, where the recording of the song originates from.
All in all, this is a fantastic, inspired and thoroughly worthy tribute to the men and women who lived, fought and died during the Great War

In A Box
In A Box
Price: £11.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Folk Essentials, 7 Jun. 2014
This review is from: In A Box (Audio CD)
Megson have consistently released excellent albums, and this one is no exception. Stu's songwriting is at the core of this latest collection. There are some great examples of really good personal lyrics which will resonate with most listeners. Stu and Debs share the vocals and both have improved their delivery over the years. Although living in Cambridgeshire, they haven't forgotten their NorthEast roots, and the album has a truly authentic feel.
The musicianship is, of course, exemplary, and some catchy tunes interspersed with some heartfelt ballads make this a must for any serious folk fans

Fair Warning [Digipack]
Fair Warning [Digipack]

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely on The Rails, 6 May 2014
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This review is from: Fair Warning [Digipack] (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful CD. I can't praise it enough. Perhaps because of the Thompson connection there is a feel of some of Richard's music on some tracks, particularly the standout 'Send her to Holloway'. The musicianship is excellent throughout. I was particularly impressed by James' guitar work.
The vocals blend beautifully and don't suffer at all on the more acoustic moments. Both traditional tracks included are highlights. Bonnie Portmore is a lilting ballad, whereas their version of William Taylor lopes along with some muscle. I have always loved Jim Moray's take on William Taylor. Dare I say that this is an even better effort.
All in all, this CD deserves to be one of the albums of the year.

The Full English
The Full English
Price: £4.99

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full-on English, 9 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Full English (Audio CD)
The eagerly awaited album in conjunction with the EFSDS website relating to the same material is an absolute joy. Many of the best and leading musicians of the current golden renaissance of British Folk music have been brought together by Fay Hield to produce a majestic album which, in time, will be seen to have the same importance as such tour de force as the Shirley Collins Albion Band 'No Roses'

The playing throughout is exemplary, as you would expect from such a stellar cast. The choice of material wide ranging, from ballads to love songs, to perfectly executed instrumentals and music hall items. Fay takes lead vocals on 4 tracks, especially notable being a lovely closing version of Linden Lea. Nancy Kerr also provides lead on several tracks, including her self penned Fol the Day-O, which fits in with the traditional songs like a hand in a glove, and her dueting with Fay throughout is really beautiful. Too quite disimilar voices blending fantastically well.

The individual voices of the males can easily be identified on the ensemble numbers. Martin Simpsons guitar and vocals on Creeping Jane show what a fine reader of the tradition he is, and any fan of Seth Lakeman will be intrigued by his two contributions.

The most easily listenable tracks, Arthur O'Bradley (which has real tongue twisting lyrics) and Man in the Moon (with its music hall singalong) will probably get the most airplay, but there isnt a duff track amongst them.

Finally, a mention for Sam Sweeney, Rob Halbron, and Ben Nicholls, as fine a trio of musicians you could wish to hear.

Brilliance deserves recognition. BUY THIS CD !
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2014 3:48 AM GMT

Whip Jamboree
Whip Jamboree
Price: £24.41

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next big Folk Rock Band?, 8 April 2013
This review is from: Whip Jamboree (Audio CD)
This is one helluva band and one helluva CD. Like all great bands, the best way to listen to Blackbeards is live. However, with Whip Jamboree theyve managed to get the excitement of their live sound down on record.

This album is going to win awards. Its that good. A great mix of catchy tunes, singalong songs and musical virtuosity.I cant recommend it highly enough.

Stuarts singing is excellent, and Lauras violin superb. The driving Bass from Tim (he's also in the Albion Band) and Martins lead guitar licks keep the music at a high tempo. The super tight drumming from Dave and Yom are unique and make the band stand out from every other Folk Rock Band on the market.50% tunes and 50% songs is a great mix. The crowning glory is the title track, which I bet you will keep singing out loud at the most inopportune moments.

I remember them once announcing at Shepley Festival that they were going to be bigger than Bellowhead. Who knows? This set is up there with the best that Boden and Crew can muster. 2013 to be the year of BTP?

Wake The Union
Wake The Union
Price: £9.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hits just keep on coming, 16 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Wake The Union (Audio CD)
Steve and Phil have been touring for 20 years plus. Interspersed with the touring have been various Cd releases, some good, some barely more than average. You can be sure on each CD that there will be some songs that will become favourites in concert, and some that are little more than album fillers. Because, lets face it, Show of Hands on record are but a pale shadow of the majestic live performers.
So where does Wake the Union sit in amongst the recordings? Well, to me, its their most consistent and strongest offering to date. There are several songs which have been trialed in concert for some time, either with Show of Hands or, in the case of Aunt Maria, as part of the excellent Cecil Sharp Project that Steve was involved in. As always, the playing is superb, and Steves lyrics and sensitive renditions are to the fore. Why he isnt an even bigger star is a mystery. Phil and Miranda are equally superb.
There are some real gems here, with my own favourites being Cruel River and Thanks, the latter destined to end shows for many years. If you dont own a Show Of Hands CD, then this is a great place to start. If, like me, you love them, then have no hesitation, this is as good as the studio band gets.

Diversions Vol.2: The Unthanks With Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band
Diversions Vol.2: The Unthanks With Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band
Price: £13.38

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Beautiful, 30 July 2012
I saw them perform with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band at Cambridge Folk Festival where they played this set. I can only say that the music is sublime. I didnt realise how tenderly a Brass Band could play.

As this CD is a live version of the collaboration, it has all the intensity of the Cambridge performance. It really is too beautiful for words. Fragile but at the same time strong, if that isnt a contradiction. Rachel and Becky have such expressive voices.If you only buy one CD this year, then make it this one. You wont be disappointed.

Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fay cracks it, 30 May 2012
This review is from: Orfeo (Audio CD)
This album is excellent. Her Looking Glass CD from a couple of years ago was pretty good, but Orfeo cranks it up at least a couple of notches. This is the real thing. Backed superbly by some of the best musicians around (in particular the brilliant fiddle of Sam Sweeney), Fay has improved her delivery and her singing is top notch.

She saves the best track until last. Naughty Baby, to the tune of Deutchland, Deutchland Uber Alles is wonderful. But there are plenty more classics on this disc which range from powerful ballads, uptempo jaunts to music hall style offerings.

The Fay Hield Trio are a treat and, as the expanded, 'big band' Hurricane Party are touring the festivals this summer, if you get the chance catch them live, I urge you to do so.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2012 10:50 AM BST

The Vice Of The People
The Vice Of The People
Price: £11.50

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Albions off and running, 3 May 2012
This review is from: The Vice Of The People (Audio CD)
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 !

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