May 21st, 2014 / Posted in Reviews
The album showcases their blend of serious musicianship and dedicated subversion. Their intricately arranged instrumentals are a roomful of strangers introducing themselves at a party and getting along fine. You don’t know what’s coming up next and you enjoy the danger… lords of misrule.
Living Tradition, March 2014
They can do things with a squeeze-box and an oboe that can break your heart.
Independent on Sunday, April 2014
Amidst the jesting and hilarity, they sit as fine an example of traditional English folk music as you’re likely to hear.
Bright Young Folk, April 2014
Harmonious live hilarity and serious musicianship, communicated with enthusiasm and wicked intelligence.
Froots, May 2014
Long may Messrs Sartin and Hutchinson continue to find a few weeks each year to get together to entertain and, in a understated way, educate us all.
Maverick, May/June 2014
One of the most intimate and entertaining live albums I’ve heard.
Songlines, June 2014
May 21st, 2014 / Posted in General News
Confession time. We lied. We didn’t have veggie chilli in Shropshire, we had a mound of home-made hoummous with lentil bake, washed down with local ale. How remiss of us to mislead you. PH finished the night off at the home of our old friend Di Whitehead, whereas PS got well and truly finished off by Benji Kirkpatrick and his wine and cheese selection. Thence to Mansfield where, as predicted, we had a return visit to a curry house, the fare of which returned to haunt us all the way home that night.
After a couple of days back home (during which PS took a group of teenagers to Pizza Hut’s happy hour deal, but only because it was a mere £6.00 per head), it was up to the wilds of Cumbria, and two nights on the shores of Lake Bassenthwaite, where PH thinks he might have spotted an osprey. As if the beautiful surroundings weren’t enough, our first venue provided us with veggie chilli, and our B&B featured an all-night honesty bar which may have accounted for PH’s osprey sighting. During our northern foray, in between visits to some of the ubiquitous tea shops, and dinner in a pub at the end of Hadrian’s Wall in Bowness-on-Solway, we stopped off in Ravenglass, a former Roman settlement with a ruined bath house, and a steam railway (probably not Roman). These got Hutch well and truly excited – here are the baths:
And here is the train:
Happy memories to mull over during the 5-hour drive to London that night, to the accompaniment of cheese thins and Baby Bels. Oh, the glamour.
May 11th, 2014 / Posted in General News
Exactly a year ago to the day, we found ourselves on a Sunday tea shop tour of Bishop’s Castle (see the-final-digest-or-the-last-post) taking in the Yarborough House and Poppy House establishments in a valiant attempt to stave off the boredom and ennui of a Shropshire sabbath while between concerts. Guess what? 365 days later we find ourselves doing exactly the same thing. And with the amount of food we’re being forced to ingest it won’t just be a case of history repeating itself. All this on top of a gargantuan cooked breakfast courtesey of the kindly Dilys and Cliff, whose Whitchurch B&B is graced with many a personal touch. Here’s a picture of the hallway:
As we’ve been commuting from home for the majority of gigs on this tour (not a single Travelodge this time round, which must be a first, praise be) we’ve had less opportunity than usual to dine out, although it seems that today we are making up for it. We’ve managed couple of decent pub meals, at The Lamb in Eastbourne and The Black Bear in Whitchurch, but surely the highlight must be Tutu’s Ethiopian Table at The Global Cafe in Reading, an amazing buffet of lentil and other vegetable dishes and spiced beef, served on traditional injera pancakes, and washed down with delicious Ethiopian beer. Going to work afterwards at South Street Arts was quite a struggle; that we were seated for the concert was a blessing all round.
Tonight we have a veggie chilli, as stipulated by our contract, to look forward to (as does the audience). Tomorrow, a return visit to a curry house in Mansfield. Thence home for rest, recuperation, and a crash diet.