Traditional English music to the core. Let's start with
, an English dance
band with a rather bizarre name, be it as slippery as the hering or as iron
the German Chancellor. Ed Rennie (melodeon), Nina Hansell (fiddle) and Gareth
Kiddier (piano) perform country dance and ceilidh music. Solid it is. Besides
some original compositions, it is traditional music dating back to the 18th
century, somewhere between Lincolnshire and Northumbria: marches, polkas,
hornpipes, jigs, rants, Australian schottische. Plus a Calabrian Tarantella
from the Alan Lomax
Collection which had been bismarcked
to become a jig.
Annie Dearman (voice), Vic Gammon (voice, anglo concertina, banjo, 1-row
melodeon) and Steve Harrison (1- and 2-row-melodeon, mouth organ) hail from
Yorkshire and the three are devoted to traditional English song: narrative
ballads and lyrical songs (plus three dance tunes added) that have been
taken from traditional singers, manuscripts, ballad sheets, and the great
folk song collections of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They took
those songs, or bits of it, and welded it together. The sound is pure 19th
century, the era when all their instruments became popular. Regarding their
repertoire, I just like to mention "Pleal's Allemand" (Pleyel's Fancy),
Igantius Pleyel (1757-1831) had been an Austrian composer and a pupil of
Haydn, and "Pretty little Feet" which had been derived from "The Lass of
Loch Royale", the tune is "Willy of Winsbury". "Rosemary Lane" is probably
the best known. "Daddy, Don't Go Down the Mine" had been learned from Doc
Watson and changed into three time since Vic's grandmother sang a fragment
of the chorus in three time.
Vic Gammon and Annie Dearman are also singing and Steve Harrison is playing
sax on fellow-Yorkshireman Pete
"In Paper Houses". Pete himself sings and plays bouzouki, melodeon,
banjo and Appalachian mountain dulcimer on ten English traditional (well
known might be only the "Outlandish Knight") and four contemporary songs.
The latter includes his original "Seven Warnings"; Petes says that we
wrote this as a stadium anthem for the band Red Shift, but unfortunatly
no stadium gigs were forthcoming.
Since the 1970s, the one man folk
plays mainly as a soloist, and I guess that's better for the
Traditional English song and dance music never sounded better!
English Folk Dance & Song Society,