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Reviews

Miriam Cooke - Freefalling (First Night Records)

Miriam Cooke has a clear voice with the purity and power of Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez. The arrangements are simple giving her singing space to shine through and shine gloriously it does. Miriam makes it sound so simple, so effortless and so perfect. On songs like Freefalling and...

Star rating: 
4

Blackbeard’s Tea Party - Leviathan EP (Self Release)

Adrenaline-fuelled Ceilidh folk with attitude from York's finest, as they take their swashbuckling shenanigans aboard The Diamond, whilst hard rocking the title track along the gangplank. It's party time with whaling songs, and a fun time guaranteed for all me hearties. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Deer Park Ranger - Bottom of the Ocean (Fluttery Records)

Highly personal minimalist musings courtesy of Trevor Humphrey in his first full-length album project under the guise of Deer Park Ranger. If not specifically music for airports, then certainly music for submarine base lounges. Also ideal for personal reflection in our own favourite spaces. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Lydian Collective - Adventure (Lydian)

Adventurous London-based quartet creating uplifting melodies right before our ears. Building on a jazz framework, Lydian Collective take the music on new journeys with unfussy yet thoroughly engaging musicianship, reminiscent of some of Prog Rock's finer moments in places. (AW)

Star rating: 
4

Raging Twilight - Raging Twilight (Self Release)

Former Greenmantle founder Jack Law's current vehicle, delivering mild-tempered rock with the occasional blues flurry. Not sure I was aware of any raging here, although I empathise with the approaching of twilight. I suspect the band's forte is in their live performances. (AW)

Star rating: 
3

Ian Roland - The Valley EP (Self Release)

Ian Roland's passionate vocal recall The Housemartins ernest intelligent pop especially when supported by the trios beautiful harmonies. Fine Fiddle, Cello and Guitar arrangements. Three interesting players and Nigel Stonier's production ensures that three songs aren't nearly enough. (MH)

Star rating: 
4

The Secret Sisters/Danni Nicholls

The Live Room, Saltaire Sunday 25 March 2018 The Secret Sisters with special guest Danni Nicholls opening the show. There was a tangible sense of anticipation and excitement from the maximum capacity crowd for tonight's show. Many guests, judging from the rapturous applause throughout and some of...

Nic Norton and The Country Band - Brief Lives EP (Self Release)

Songs on this EP remind me vocally and compositional of early Al Stewart. The fleet fingered guitar and wry observational writing updated from Bedsitter Images to stories of cosmopolitan 21st Century life, Paul Keeler's Parisian Cafe violin enlivens it further. (MH)

Star rating: 
3

Hamad Kalkaba and The Golden Sounds - 1974-1975 (Analog Africa)

More vintage sounds re-visited through Analog Africa, this time from Northern Cameroon's 'forgotten genius'. Just 6 songs, yet packed with vibrancy and authenticity. Strange to think that while our jukeboxes in 1975 rattled to Gary Glitter, Bay City Rollers and Mud, Cameroon bars had this! (AW)

Star rating: 
3

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