Lynne and Pat have been singing together now for many years. They have an eclectic repertoire of traditional and modern songs from ballads to music hall and many of their songs are written by themselves. Their funny songs have a biting wit and some very risqué themes. “Their harmonies are striking, with an impressive vocal range - and they produce a powerful and unique sound. Charismatic, humorous and quirky, they are not averse to a spot of outrage, though they sing their more serious songs with the same level of energy and vitality”
FAIR ROSAMUND (Trad )
This one of the oldest of all known English ballads, dating from the 12th century, when Henry II took the renowned beauty, Rosamund Clifford, as his mistress. In the Roxburghe Collection, it is called “The Unfortunate Concubine” or “Rosamund’s Overthrow”.
ONLY A DREAM (M. Chapin-Carpenter)
A haunting song from the CD “Songs From the Movie”
I DO LIKE A BIT OF FRIED FISH (Lynne Heraud)
Fish and chips is such a succulent dish that it far surpasses courtship and marriage!
THE BROWN GIRL. (Trad)
Child 295. Roud 180. An English ballad from a 17th century working girl. She wasn’t quite the ticket, but she had hidden talents!
THE NORTH WIND (Pat Turner)
What would we Brits have to talk about, if not the weather?
WHY DID I ASK HIM TO TEA? (Lynne Heraud) Love is a many-splendoured thing but sometimes we get more than we bargained for!
(THE WRECK OF) THE NIGHTINGALE (Trad)
From the singing of Helen Schneyer.
THE MOON AND ST. CHRISTOPHER (M. Chapin-Carpenter) Collected From her 1990 album “Shooting Straight in the Dark”.
CRAFTY LADIES (Pat Turner)
Dedicated to Gaye, Karen, Sharon, Ruth, Kate, and all our crafty friends. You know who you are...
THE TWO BROTHERS (Trad)
Child 49. Roud 38. The sadness is in the telling and the singing, and your questions are never quite answered.
I WILL GIVE MY LOVE AN APPLE (Trad)
A version of The Riddle Song, this one was collected in Essex in the early 1900’s.
BRIGHTON BELLE (Pat Turner)
Written for the Music Hall at the Broadstairs Folk Festival. I looked a treat; Lynne had to constantly change hats and moustaches to match the male characters!
WHEN I WAS A YOUNG GIRL I USED TO SEEK PLEASURE (Trad) An American homiletic ballad and a variant of “The Bad Girl’s Lament”. It was collected by Alan and Elizabeth Lomax in 1941 from Mrs. Texas Gladden Of Salem, Virginia.
HERTFORDSHIRE LULLABY (Pat Turner)
We don’t have nearly enough Hertfordshire songs. I’m working to redress the balance.
WATCHING FOR WINKLES AT WESTWARD HO! (Hilary Bix) Our title track, written by and dedicated to our late friend Hilary Bix, a wonderful singer, dancer, folk club/festival organiser and a spectacular artist. It’s pleasure to be able to perform this song.
This is the second CD by this pair that I've received for review and is their 6th album. As in their previous collection there's a real mix of songs in the 15 tracks with 6 traditional songs, 2 songs written by Lynne and 4 by Pat.
They open the recording with a version of the traditional ballad Fair Rosamund which immediately illustrates their very fine close harmony singing. Pat leads the next song Only A Dream with a nice minimal guitar accompaniment which is one of two Mary Chapin-Carpenter songs on the album . This for me is one of the best tracks on the album. A hauntingly beautiful song superbly performed.
Inevitably this is followed by a much lighter hearted rendition of Lynne's I Do Like A Bit of Fried Fish! These two are masters (or should that be mistresses? .. perhaps not!) at moving from the sublime to the ridiculous. Also their Music Hall repertoire has been enhanced with Pat's Brighton Belle and is even more amusing when they perform it live.
Returning then to traditional material, of the 6 songs of this genre, I particularly liked their arrangement of The Wrecking of the Nightingale and the homiletic ballad (homolists are preachers - don't despair if you didn't know that dear reader - I had to look it up too!!) When I Was A Young Girl I Used To Seek Pleasure (they're still seeking!) which are accompanied by Pat's English concertina.
Pat's talent at song writing is well showcased here with The North Wind which is somewhat lightly dismissed in the sleeve notes as a song about our obsession with the weather; it's much deeper than that and a very well written song.
So, what of the title track, and to give its full name, Watching For Winkles At Westward Ho! ? It is a tribute to and was written by the late Hilary Bix a resident and organiser of the fine Bideford Folk Club and a very lovely talented lady who I had the pleasure of meeting when I performed at Bideford myself. This, as might be guessed from the title, is another Music Hall style song and perfectly suits Lynne and Pat's approach to their singing.
This CD will no doubt be an addition to the collections of their many fans as well as folk who've not come across them before. Available at their many gigs around the country and from the Wild Goose web site.
Over the past 20 years, Lynne and Pat have secured their special niche on the English folk scene. A class act of the kind that never goes out of fashion, thoroughly entertaining with an accessible performing style and a flair for delivering an ideally balanced programme of songs that truly suit both their voices and personalities. As singers, they blend perfectly, Lynne’s appealing higher register ringing out and harmonising with Pat’s deeper, earthier timbre to give an extensive combined vocal range.
One can rely on any new album from Lynne and Pat (this is their seventh) to contain a sensibly varied batch of sparkling additions to their repertoire that will alternate between ‘serious’ and ‘frivolous’ and equal-handedly comprise traditional ballads, contemporary compositions and lighter, slightly risqué material either from the music-hall or self-penned in the approved cheeky-life-observational idiom. The ladies’ presentational insight is so well developed that such an obvious juxtaposition device, which could so easily feel contrived, in their hands feels as natural as breathing. Their team-talent for impeccable timing and flawless harmonies is right there on every track, while each lady’s individual solo passages also never fail to delight.
So, mindful of the need to winkle out particular highlights from the ladies’ latest scintillating collection, I’ll cite Pat’s compositions The North Wind and Hertfordshire Lullaby (though she can do fun too, as her Crafty Ladies and Brighton Belle prove); Lynne’s delish ode to fish (and chips); ballads The Brown Girl and The Two Brothers; and (The Wrecking Of) The Nightingale (from Helen Schneyer). The latter is one of a handful of other tracks that involves a modicum of careful accompaniment (guitar, English concertina, recorder), but invariably the focus is always on Lynne and Pat’s glorious harmonies.
Yes, Watching For Winkles is fair guaranteed to warm the cockles!