Another Round

by Roy Clinging & Neil Brookes

A collection of mostly English traditional songs and tunes from this new and exciting partnership. Roys clear vocals and accomplished concertina are enhanced by Neils musicianship as he complements the songs and inspires the tunes on fiddle and octave fiddle.



The Songs

I learned the Cheshire May Song from Reg Holmes, a retired railway man from Norley, Cheshire. Songs like this one were in fact usually sung in April as they were heralding the approach of this special time of year rather than celebrating its arrival.

The Rambling Royal, collected by A L Lloyd from Frank Jeffries in 1938, deals with the rare subject of the resolve and determination required to run away from the military. A young man joins the Royal Marines while under the influence of alcohol and then continually tries to desert, eventually succeeding with the help of his girl friend in Birkenhead.

The song we refer to as All Smiles Tonight is basically the version collected by Mike Yates from George Newman of Clanfield, Oxfordshire and printed in the English Country Songbook, edited by Roy Palmer, under the title of Fare Thee Well, Cold Winter. Although not exactly a happy song, it has a good chorus and is one we often use to round off a set or an evening.

I first heard Bold Lovell sung by my good friend Tom Miller who always felt the song needed to be sung to the accompaniment of a solo, driving fiddle. We tried it out and wholeheartedly agree with him.

Cecil Sharp collected Lovely Nancy (Roud 688) from William Stokes at Chew Stoke, Somerset, in 1906, though I have added a couple of extra verses gleaned from various broadside texts. I particularly like the references to Liverpool and Chester, which give the song something of a local feel.

Written by Barrie Temple, River Days is about the Swan Hunter shipyard on Tyneside,which ceased to build ships in 1994, and now exists only as a ship repairer. Needless to say, after 127 years of continuous trade the sudden and unexpected loss of jobs created hardships and left something of a bitter taste in the mouths of many people who relied on the industry for their livelihood.

Andrew Rose is a rather disturbing song made all the more so by the knowledge that it chronicles an actual event in our not too distant past. In 1856, on board the homeward bound Martha and Jane, Captain Henry Rogers subjected able seaman Andrew Rose (or Ross) to such treatment that he did not survive the voyage back to England. He was beaten more or less on a daily basis and subjected to a constant regime of unnecessary cruelty. When Rose eventually died his body was cast overboard without ceremony but on reaching Liverpool, his shipmates went to the police. After trial at the assizes Captain Rogers was sentenced to death.

Sights of London is in the Hammond Gardiner manuscripts, as Ize Yorkshire, Though In Lunnon with a tune collected in Dorset in 1907 and words from The Merry Minstrel printed by Swindells of Manchester around 1830. We have, however, reworked both the words and tune to create the version given here.

When Our Ship Comes Home is from the Joseph McGinnis collection of the 1920s entitled Songs of the Dogwatch. I learned it from the fine American singer and musician Bob Walser who also composed the tune.

Hard as a sailors life could be he always had respect for a fair and good captain, often represented by some incarnation of the Mr Stormalong character, a major figure in sailors folklore. The version here is something of an amalgam based on the singing of Bob Roberts but with verses and variations from other sources, most notably Stan Hugills Shanties from the Seven Seas and Joanna Colcords Roll and Go.

Roy Clinging

The Tunes

Our choice of tunes reflects our English background, though they themselves cannot really be said to have nationalities. Most traditional tunes float happily around between cultures and locations, adapting to the styles of the musicians who play them.

A good example is The Rugged Sailor. An early Northumbrian version in 6/4 time (but debatably working better in 9/4) may be found in the Henry Atkinson MS of 1694. Since then, it has travelled extensively, changing its name and time signature on the way, and it turns up over 100 years later in the Lake District as a reel (The Ragged Sailor, Browne MS). Irish musicians know it as the slip-jig Give us a drink of Water. Good tunes are always adaptable, and I play this tune as an air to set a slightly sinister tone for the song that follows.

Our Cheshire roots make the inclusion of A Cheshire Round a must! The title is a generic name for a number of 3/2 tunes, which often have several parts, taking the form of variations on the main theme. One can imagine the latter day virtuoso bagpipe player performing these tunes in an improvisational style not unlike that of a modern jazz saxophonist.

Playford describes the Cheshire Round dance as a longways set, though the original form of the dance appears to have been (logically) a circle dance, which could even be performed as a solo. It is likely that the steps and figures were also improvised to a certain extent, in keeping with the music. The version we play is one of the more unusual variants.

We follow Cheshire Round with one of the most well known 3/2 (or triple) hornpipes, The Dusty Miller, although we have an unusual setting. It is often thought to be Scottish, as Robert Burns wrote words to the tune, the resultant song becoming popular as a Nursery Rhyme. We balance the two melodies by the addition of a third part (thanks to Lyn Law, of Chester, for this), and some modal changes to give what we claim to be a Cheshire version!The two jigs, French Dance and The Ball are classic, though seldom played, Sussex dance tunes from c1800. They may be found in the manuscripts of the Welch family of Bosham.

Another Round is always welcome during an evening's music making! A humble attempt to compose a tune in the style of a Cheshire Round, this triple time hornpipe leads into the fiery Carpenters Morris, which comes to us via John Offords splendid collection of often challenging tunes dating from before 1750, John of the Greeny Cheshire Way.

The song Sights of London leads into The Shropshire Lass, a dance tune found in later editions of Playfords Dancing Master but still well known and highly popular with English musicians and rightly so!

The Unicycle arose during a brief period when I possessed (and occasionally wobbled about on) one of these singular inventions. The melody was originally composed as a melodeon piece. Anyone learning the tune on this instrument will notice that it alternates back and forth across the two rows, in a similar fashion to how one rides a unicycle!

Neil Brookes

Cheshire May Song
The Rambling Royal
Sample not available
Cheshire Rounds
All Smiles Tonight
Sample not available
Bold Lovell
Sample not available
Lovely Nancy
Sample not available
French Dance; The Ball
Sample not available
River Days
Sample not available
Rugged Sailor; Andrew Rose
Sample not available
Another Round; Carpenters Morris
Sample not available
Sights of London; Shropshire Lass
Sample not available
The Unicycle
Sample not available
Mr Stormalong
Sample not available

Des Redwood

Des Redwood

Writing a review for Roy and Neils latest CD has been a pleasure for me,

since listening to them at clubs and festivals I have come to enjoy not only

the quality of their fine musicianship but also the knowledge that they

impart about each of the songs or tunes they perform. Buy the CD and you

will recognise many of the songs or tunes. Particular favourites for me are

the Cheshire May Song (sounds just like Mobberley May Song, also sung by

Roy!) and Cheshire Rounds. They follow on nicely from Roy and Neils

previous CD, Cheshire Born, which has pride of place in my collection,

alongside Roys Cheshire Folk songs book, published last year. Roy has a

fine, rich voice and is ably accompanied by Neils superb fiddle

accompaniment.

The CD is well balanced and flows nicely from song to tune to song. It makes

time move along nicely, keeping me singing along. Chorus songs such as

Sights of London: Shropshire Lass are most welcome. The final track is ideal

for Roy. Its Mr Stormalong and fits his voice so well. 14 tracks with so

many to enjoy, including Lovely Nancy, River Days and Rugged Sailor: Andrew

Rose.

I recommend it without hesitation. If you are hooked by Roy and Neil then

you will not be disappointed. Buy it, play it, close your eyes and savour

it. You will not get better!.


Dai Woosnam

Dai Woosnam

Now here is a duo with a burning desire to see their local county of England given the musical credit it deserves. Cheshire is one of those counties that has to take a back seat while other English counties get more emphasis placed on them by the English Tourist Board.

I first came across Roy Clinging when I heard his 1999 album �Cheshire Born�. Here, it was evident he was determined to strike another positive blow for Cheshire, to add to such other images out there in the wide world like Cheshire cheese and Lewis Carroll's �Cheshire Cat�.

This time, a couple of albums later, he is performing as a duo: he is joined by the Cheshire dance musician, Neil Brookes. So we have Roy's guitar, concertina and vocals, allied with Neil's fiddles and chorus-vocals.

And a fine job they make of it, with their varied repertoire of traditional ballads and dance tunes. Plus their one contemporary song, Barrie Temple's �River Days�. This incidentally was the stand-out cut on the album.

It just shades it from a vibrant version of �All Smiles Tonight� (aka Fare Thee Well, Cold Winter�) and their version of �Lovely Nancy� (thought Roy's singing of the latter could have benefited from a less-deep draught from the same glorious musical cask that the late Tony Rose imbibed from).

I see in the liner notes that Roy has added a couple of verses to �Lovely Nancy�: verses he found from various broadside texts. He says that references to Liverpool and Chester �give the song something of a local feel�.

Well, that's interesting. For it brings me to consider 7 magic words on the back cover of the liner notes. Above a picture of the artistes, one reads �Songs and tunes in the Cheshire way��

Now in fairness to WildGoose, these words are tiny. And there is no attempt to push the �Cheshire-ness� of the album on either the front or back of the jewel case. But somehow I see it indicative of a trend that I observe becoming more marked by the day.

And that is the trend to identify an album with a region. Last month I reviewed an album called �Liverpool Connexions� (sic) where several numbers had no convincing Liverpool connection whatsoever. And one attempt at a link was just risible.

But that said, paradoxically one (reluctantly) figured it made good marketing sense, as it got the CD to be sold in all the shops adjoining the museums, galleries, arts centres, etc., on Merseyside.

Likewise here, there is nothing particularly �Cheshire� or �Cheshire way� about several of the tracks. Indeed, as I say, the highlight is �River Days� a lament for the days when shipbuilding was king on Tyneside (the other side of England, to you non-Brits reading this). But perhaps City of Chester tourist outlets might have been persuaded to put in on display, had WildGoose not been the commendably honest company that they are, and instead had elevated the 7 little words from their position on the back of the liner notes to pride-of-place on the front cover.

But Doug Bailey has STANDARDS.

And there we have come to it. The word �integrity�.

So one can sum up by saying that this is an agreeable album by two confident performers: a CD that has integrity as its watchword.

David Kidman

David Kidman

It's good to welcome folk stalwart Roy back to the recording scene; lately, he's added another string to his bow � so to speak � in instigating and developing a fruitful musical partnership with that excellent Cheshire dance musician Neil Brookes. Neil's rich, stirring and passionate fiddle style (he plays both the conventional and octave varieties of instrument here) forms a perfect complement to Roy's finely wrought English concertina (and occasional guitar) playing and reliably solid singing. As well as touring as a duo, Roy and Neil have also performed in a maritime-themed presentation which you may have seen at festivals, and Roy's predilection for maritime material is represented on this new CD as part of a goodly selection of songs and tunes from the tradition, often in different and interesting variants. Roy's carried out extensive research into the folk heritage of his native county (and published a book on the subject); viz. the Cheshire May Song and the delectable set of local 3/2 tunes which Roy calls Cheshire Rounds, also the local references in the version of Lovely Nancy presented here! The thoughtfulness with which the duo approach their material is apparent throughout in the vital and characterful performances but also in the insert notes, contributed individually by Roy (the songs) and Neil (the tunes), which are a model of concise informativeness. Having Neil in tandem has enabled Roy to become increasingly adventurous in his approach to song accompaniments. Highlights here include the sprightly Sights Of London, a driving Bold Lovell and a rousing All Smiles Tonight (an Oxfordshire variant on Fare Thee Well Cold Winter). The purely instrumental selections (comprising a little under half of the total playing-time) are great too, and one or two of the songs also ingeniously incorporate tunes (for instance, Roy's intense rendition of the disturbing chronicle of Andrew Rose has its scene set by the slipjig The Rugged Sailor played as an air). The duo's honest and genuine enthusiasm in sharing their songs and tunes is transparent in their upfront performances (although some listeners may find Roy's use of vibrato on longer melodic lines a mite intrusive, as on his otherwise highly persuasive cover of Barrie Temple's elegiac River Days, the CD's only non-traditional selection). Another Round is a delightful and well-managed set that's a convincing advocate for the continued investigation and performance of this repertoire.

Living Tradition

Roy Harris

Roy Clinging is a man who has built a solid reputation as a soloist but he rings a change here by bringing in a partner, fiddle player Neil Brookes. I dont know whether this change is for the album only or a new direction for live work. Maybe the latter, for Wildgoose describes it as a new and exciting partnership and to be sure, the music on offer certainly swings along with concertina, guitar, and fiddle combining well whether backing up the voice or in the instrumental medleys.

Ive always liked Clingings way with a song. He chooses things with good tales to tell and has the nous to let those tales reveal themselves through straightforward but expressive use of his robustly melodious voice. For a good example listen to The Rambling Royal a song about a Royal Marines deserter. I know this from the singing of the great A.L.Lloyd who gave its bombastic text a thorough workout. Clinging does the same, throwing the words out with obvious relish. How nice to hear someone who sings the sense of a song.

We expect to hear some Cheshire?based music from Roy Clinging and sure enough he opens with the self?collected Cheshire May Song, telling us in the booklet notes that songs like this one were usually sung in April. The Cheshire theme continues with the tune Cheshire Rounds, and the Neil Brookes composition Another Round. The zestful Bold Lovell, a favourite of mine, and the chilling Andrew Rose typify the choice of material here. All Good Stuff, well handled by two very good musicians in an album that brings credit to them, and to Wildgoose Records.


Shreds and Patches

Chris (Yorkie) Bartram

Yet another excellent CD from the WildGoose Studios. Doug Bailey really knows how to record and present acoustic instruments and voices. He has recorded many of the finest folk singers in the country?and here is more proof.

Roy Clinging and Neil Brookes are not as well?known as they deserve but, for those of us who have had the pleasure of hearing them play, they are very highly regarded. Roys extensive researches into traditional songs have produced a great many songs from his native county, Cheshire, but also from the wider English tradition. This collection starts with a splendid version of the Cheshire May Song (which, they point out in the very informative sleeve notes, was traditionally sung in April ? heralding the approach of May, rather than celebrating its arrival). There are elements of several tunes mixed into this Cheshire original, including the one that most of us might call The Lincolnshire Poacher:

The effect is a delightful mix of familiarity and originality. This track is currently top of my personal play?list. However, a close second is track 5, Bold Lovell ? another song that reminds me of several others and yet is clearly a firmly rooted original. Indeed, I could say something similar for many of these tracks ? even those that I have heard sung by other people have some elements of true originality while remaining reassuringly `traditional. Andrew Rose for example, sets the usual story of cruel treatment of that unfortunate sailor to a different tune from any other version I have heard.

There are a few tune sets alongside the songs which show off the tremendous instrumental skills of both players. Roy plays English concertinas and guitar, while Neil plays fiddle and octave fiddle. Im not sure what one of those is but I see its made by Tim Phillips ? so he probably made up the name. Anyway, it sounds fantastic (As we have come to expect from one of the top fiddlemakers in the country.) A particular favourite among the instrumentals is a set of two jigs from Sussex called French Dance and The Ball. They are absolutely terrific. The songs, too, clearly benefit from those instrumental skills ?just listen to the superb fiddle?playing on Bold Lovell, for example ? or the `orchestral sounds of combined concertina and fiddle between the verses of Sights of London (Im almost certain only two of them are playing but its such a full sound ...) which is followed by a great version of Shropshire Lass.

Look at the WildGoose website for a full track?list and watch out for Roy and Neil during the Festival season. Very highly recommended.

Whats Afoot

Colin Andrews

Certain high profile names will readily come to mind to the casual observer of the folk club scene and to those whose experience of folk music is largely confined to the festival concert venues. But, as any regular folk club aficionado knows, there are a wealth of highly talented singers and musicians up and down the country, many who have formed the backbone of the folk song revival over the pest few decades. It is most pleasing to see these artists recognised with their own album on a major folk label.

I remember seeing Roy Clinging on the guest list at a festival I was attending with a Morris side, but was not able to get to his spots. Roy (lead vocals, English concertina & guitar) and Neil Brookes (fiddles, & chorus) in Another Romd, present an entertaining selection of songs and tunes, all traditional, except Barrie Temples River Days, which tells of the decline of the Swan Hunter shipyard on Tyneside, and Neils tune, Unicycle. The songs ad tunes are gleaned from a variety of sources, with their native Cheshire represented in particular by the opening tract, The Cheshire May Song.

Roy sings in a relaxed style with a listenable tenor voice, which is complemented by Neils simple louver?register harmonies in choruses. While (Streams of Lowly Nancy is unaccompanied, concertina & fiddle are used with pleasing effect on other songs. Roys moving and full version of Andrew Rose, the true story of the ill?went and murder of a sailor by the ships Captain, is one I had not heard before. The version of Mr Stormalong, also, much more gentle, not the one generally belted out at shanty sessions.

The instrumentals, in which Neil tends to take the lead on fiddle, are drawn from English traditional music. They include Cheshire Rounds, and the triple time hornpipes Dusty Miller and Another Round, and several little known & sometimes challenging tunes.

If you look be beyond the big names in folk theres some real delights to be found.



Shire Folk

Chris Mills