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The Full English – The Full English (2013)

9-05-2014, 02:13
World | Folk

The Full English – The Full English (2013)

Artist: The Full English
Title Of Album: The Full English
Year Of Release: 2013
Label: Topic
Genre: British Folk
Quality: mp3
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 47:26
Total Size: 110 mb


1. The Full English - Awake Awake (3:11)
2. The Full English - Stand by Your Guns (3:32)
3. The Full English - William and Nancy (3:34)
4. The Full English - Creeping Jane (4:38)
5. The Full English - Arthur O'bradley (4:25)
6. The Full English - Portrait of My Wife (3:51)
7. The Full English - Fol the Day-O (3:54)
8. The Full English - Brigg Fair (3:41)
9. The Full English - Rounding the Horn (4:27)
10. The Full English - The Servant Man (3:51)
11. The Full English - Man in the Moon (4:05)
12. The Full English - Linden Lea (4:17)

The groundbreaking The Full English project draws together a magnificent 20th-century haul of folk songs and artifacts – by collectors such as Cecil Sharp, Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams – in a free online database.
But what better way to bring the collection to life than in making new music from it? To that end, Fay Hield, project co-ordinator, has assembled a hugely talented group – she is joined by Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Ben Nicholls, Rob Harbron and Sam Sweeney, with Andy Bell co-producing – to sing and play 12 of the songs from the vast archive.
So what of the music? Well, the group succeeds in Hield’s ambition that “rather than attempt to reproduce the manuscripts in ‘authentic forms’,we have taken the documents and turned them into living performance”. Simpson’s version of Creeping Jane (originally recorded by Grainger in 1908) is stunning, while Lakeman’s Portrait of My Wife is stately and maudlin (in a nice way).

The one new song, Fol The Day-o – Kerr’s homage to Joseph Taylor – does not feel out of place in such traditional work. The tracks represent the broad range of material in the collections – love songs, music hall (represented here by the colourful Man in the Moon), sea shanties and dance tunes. I particularly enjoyed William And Nancy, a Cotswold Morris tune from 1909, which sparkles with an understated grace.

The music is full of inventive arrangements and the album is elegantly presented, with interesting sleeve notes from Hield. Discussing her treatment of the reworked Edwardian opener Awake Awake, she asks: “Controversial and callous treatment of a sacred text or the folk process at work? Discuss!”

Well, history needn’t be trapped in the past and I’m sure the great folk collectors honoured in The Full English would be singing rather than spinning in their graves at this fine album

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