The Food of Love

by Belshazzar's Feast

Double album.

A studio and a live performance album from these masters of entertainment.

Paul Sartin vocals, fiddle, oboe

Paul Hutchinson accordion



'My personal find of the festival - Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin play like no-one else you've ever heard. Their music is breathtaking and wickedly inventive and the between-tunes interchange as intelligent and hilarious as the music. But don't let me give you the impression they're a lightweight comedy act: they finish the set with a haunting piece of oboe and accordion magic which has the audience spellbound.' BBC Radio 2 Mike Harding Show online, Sidmouth International Festival 2001

1 Mundesse/Gathering Peascods 
Trad 

Two quintessential English tunes which we have been playing for a number of years to the delight of audiences everywhere with the notable exception of Sir Bob Geldorf who composed the hit song demonstrating his hate of the first tune, I don’t like Mundesse. 

2 Twenty, Eighteen 
Trad 

The title refers to the chorus of the song which we’ve left out because it involves counting. Hard to believe, but it’s a love song from Norfolk. 

3 Softly Good Tummas/Shropshire Lass 
Trad 

We learnt Softly Good Tummas from our cd entitled The She Favourite, the dance was composed by Nathaniell Kynaston and first published in 1718. We are indebted to Andrew Shaw for bringing this to our attention. The Shropshire Lass was collected around the early 19th century and was named after Sheila Mainwaring of Wellington. These tunes have two things in common, Kynaston and Mainwaring were both Dancing Masters (or in the case of Sheila - a Dancing Mistress) and originate from the Shropshire/Welsh borders. 

4 Dol Thy Ale/Rumanian Dance
Trad 

The words of the song are mediaeval and refer to the horrors of heavy drinking. The tune is by Paul Dickenson who knows nothing about the subject, honest. The tune was collected by Bartok, suprisingly in Rumania. 

5 Rondo a la Turkey 
Public Domain 

Mozart’s first foray into the murky world of Appalachian music. Aged 5yrs, he joined the local dance display side in Salzburg and wrote and performed this set because he was fed up with playing Flop Ear’d Mule. 

6 Calne/Be Careful in Choosing a Wife 
Hutchinson / Trad 

Paul H wrote this tune to celebrate his move to the cosmopolitan town of Calne in April 07. Calne was also the home of the Harris sausage factory but nothing else. The song is another one of Edith Sartin’s. 

7 Best of Friends/Bishop of Chester’s Jig 
Sartin / Trad 

Best of Friends was written by Paul S for the song of the same name by Scottish singer Ian Bruce, who used to try and work with us, and was recorded on an EP called Annie Laurie. The Bishop of Chester’s Jig is supposedly by Henry Purcell. We learnt it from Rod Stradling, who is both a box player and an Olympic event. 

8 Gentle Diana/Navvy Man 
Markham / Trad 

This poignant melody was composed by Alice Markham from Washington. We met Alice whilst on a tour (Betty Ford Clinic) in America a few years ago, she had written this tune in the memory of Diana Princess of Wales. Gentle Diana bears an uncanny resemblance to the tune of the Navvy Man and is pure and happy coincidence. The Navvy Man was collected from Paul S’s ancestor Edith Sartin in Corscombe, Dorset, In 1907 by the Hammond brothers. It appears to be unique to Edith, as we can’t find any other versions sung by anyone else - probably because it’s not very good. 

9 Cal 
Mark Knopfler 

The theme music from the film Cal, composed by Mark Knopfler. As it happens, we do like the tune, but really wanted to swell Mark’s coffers since we have been told (by Paul H’s mum) that he is in dire straits. 

10 The Begging Song/Bacca Pipes Jig 
Trad 

Begging song was collected by Cecil Sharp in a pub in Dartmoor. Bacca Pipes was written by Henry VIII, who was as prolific a composer as he was a husband. 

11 Music for a Found Harmonium 


Paul H was lent a copy of the ballet Still Life at the Penguin Cafe nearly 20 years ago. Following the ballet there was a documentary about Simon Jeffes which was interspersed with tunes he had composed for the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Frustratingly, this video became corrupted by other tv programmes being taped over it thus making it quite difficult to learn. 

22 Boda Waltz/ Miss Love’s Waltz 


Sweden’s first entry into the Eurovision Song Contest followed by Dorset’s first entry. (Nil points) 

23 Tommy Jenkins/Hunt the Squirrel 


Two jigs. We are in dispute about who taught us the first tune, Paul H thinks it was Joshua Bell, Paul S thinks it was Flos Headford. Hunt the Squirrel is a euphemism and we are in dispute about that too. 

24 La Belle Jardiniere/Ebenezer 


La Belle Jardiniere (the beautiful gardener) was dug up from the Masif Centrale Tune Book 1, whilst Ebenezer (Congregational Praise no 442) was learned from the singing of the Sutton Road Congregational Church Choir, Bournemouth 

25 Goliath of Gath 


The only useful thing Paul S learnt at school 

26 Ffarwel Ned Pugh / unknown 


Two Welsh entries in the Eurovision Song Contest held at Llangollen. (Nil points). 



27 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik/Spring from the Four Seasons 


Two more Eurovision Song Entries, the first from Austria and the other from Italy. (Nil points). 

28 Hashbaz 


Something we got from Hurdy Gurdy player, Mark Powell. Sadly, we haven’t been able to shake it off. 
1
Mundesse/Gathering Peascods
Two quintessential English tunes which we have been playing for a number of years to the delight of audiences everywhere with the notable exception of Sir Bob Geldorf who composed the hit song demonstrating his hate of the first tune
2
Twenty
Trad
3
Softly Good Tummas/Shropshire Lass
We learnt Softly Good Tummas from our cd entitled The She Favourite
Sample not available
4
Dol Thy Ale/Rumanian Dance
The words of the song are mediaeval and refer to the horrors of heavy drinking. The tune is by Paul Dickenson who knows nothing about the subject
Sample not available
5
Rondo a la Turkey
Mozart’s first foray into the murky world of Appalachian music. Aged 5yrs
6
Calne/Be Careful in Choosing a Wife
Paul H wrote this tune to celebrate his move to the cosmopolitan town of Calne in April 07. Calne was also the home of the Harris sausage factory but nothing else. The song is another one of Edith Sartin’s.
Sample not available
7
Best of Friends/Bishop of Chester’s Jig
Best of Friends was written by Paul S for the song of the same name by Scottish singer Ian Bruce
Sample not available
8
Gentle Diana/Navvy Man
This poignant melody was composed by Alice Markham from Washington. We met Alice whilst on a tour (Betty Ford Clinic) in America a few years ago
Sample not available
9
Cal
The theme music from the film Cal
Sample not available
10
The Begging Song/Bacca Pipes Jig
Begging song was collected by Cecil Sharp in a pub in Dartmoor. Bacca Pipes was written by Henry VIII
Sample not available
11
Music for a Found Harmonium
Paul H was lent a copy of the ballet Still Life at the Penguin Cafe nearly 20 years ago. Following the ballet there was a documentary about Simon Jeffes which was interspersed with tunes he had composed for the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Frustratingly
Sample not available
12
Boda Waltz/ Miss Love’s Waltz
Sweden’s first entry into the Eurovision Song Contest followed by Dorset’s first entry. (Nil points)
Sample not available
13
Tommy Jenkins/Hunt the Squirrel
Two jigs. We are in dispute about who taught us the first tune
Sample not available
14
La Belle Jardiniere/Ebenezer
La Belle Jardiniere (the beautiful gardener) was dug up from the Masif Centrale Tune Book 1
Sample not available
15
Goliath of Gath
The only useful thing Paul S learnt at school
Sample not available
16
Ffarwel Ned Pugh / unknown
Two Welsh entries in the Eurovision Song Contest held at Llangollen. (Nil points). <br><br>
Sample not available
17
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik/Spring from the Four Seasons
Two more Eurovision Song Entries
Sample not available
18
Hashbaz
Something we got from Hurdy Gurdy player
Sample not available

Netrythms

David Kidman

Hey, d'ya remember Belshazzar's Feast? � the formidably fine duo formed by accordionist Paul Hutchinson and oboist/violinist/singer Paul Sartin back in the mid-90s, which motored on bravely for a good number of years producing no fewer than five albums for WildGoose before drawing to a temporary halt and taking a brief sabbatical principally due to the lads' heavy commitments elsewhere (Mr. H with Hoover The Dog and Okavango, Mr. S with Bellowhead and Faustus). Never ones to let a good opportunity lapse, however, they've somehow managed to shoehorn their masterful partnership back into those already unutterably crowded schedules and hurrah, Belshazzar's Feast (aka The Spice Boys!) are now back on the road. And on the CD player too, I'm glad to see (and hear), with this tasty new culinary offering. It's even more of an appetising menu than usual, for it comes in the form of a main-dish (full-length) studio disc with a complimentary (and complementary) bonus disc containing an "appetiser prepared at a live performance", all housed in a mouth-watering vol-au-vent of a digipack.

This particular musical partnership was always something rather special, the chemistry between the two musicians very pronounced, and if anything their sabbatical has sharpened those interpersonal responses even more. You might think that with just two instrumental colours the overall sound might get just a little boring after a while; not a bit of it! The sheer variety of available sounds and textures, combined with the brilliant (and at times brilliantly wicked) inventiveness of two players who really know their instruments and their capabilities inside out, makes for a whirlwind listening experience. And that's not considering the breadth of repertoire which they can call on with such ease, from traditional to classical to pre-classical and even world but all interleaved so incredibly naturally (well that's how it sounds!) into one music. Following each delectable twist and turn of a typical album-track tune-set proves to be an art in itself, and yes, I'll virtually guarantee you'll find a fresh nuance or added cheeky, knowing musical cross-reference on each successive playthrough.

I daren't spoil the myriad of scintillating musical surprises you'll encounter in this way, but suffice to say it ain't gonna be Playford or the Penguin Caf� or trad-arr as you know it, Jim! The many imaginatively arranged and executed instrumental items are punctuated (mostly on the studio set) by a generous number of songs, which Mr Sartin treats in a lively and yet amicably relaxed manner that's both immediate and appealing. At their live gigs, as you'll hear on the bonus disc, Belshazzar's Feast stun their audiences into silent submission with their marvellous musicianship, then roll 'em in the aisles with helpless laughter at their hilarious banter and, er, marvellous musicianship. For these guys possess the rare ability to both inspire and entertain by combining an acute intelligence of approach with superbly witty humour and virtuoso playing. As you'll hear on these discs, in spades; while the sleeve notes alone provide more genuine laughs than a year's supply of TV sitcoms - and they're just as funny on repeat reading too!

The Food Of Love is pretty much essential cuisine I'd say, if you're seeking a night out in good company serenaded by "Hairy Hutch and Suave Sartin", two of the most able musicians you could wish for, ready to respond to your every whim and mood-swing with the most delightfully appropriate music whatever its origin. Yum, it's all quite overwhelmingly good at times: feast don't fail me now - or, as I might well say to the two Pauls: "men, u is too much!"

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson are well known on the folk circuit in their 'other lives' with Bellowhead and Faustus respectively. When they get together as a duo even more sparks fly!

Looking at the sumptuous cover photos (taken at The White Hart, Whitchurch - which looks a really nice place!) and sleeve notes of this double CD offering from these two gentlemen one might be forgiven if you detect a little pretentiousness; arrogance even.... 'Sit back, relax and let your taste buds be aroused by this gourmet menu brought to you by Head Chef Paul Sartin (violin, oboe and vocals) and Sous Chef Paul Hutchinson (accordion)'...... but, of course, it's all done with the tongue firmly in the cheek!

So, to the main course where you'll find much to whet your appetite (yes, I'm continuing the gourmet theme!) including songs like Twenty, Eighteen and the salutory warning Be Careful in Choosing A Wife and, wait for it, Mark Knofler's theme music and song from the film Cal! The song is sympathetically performed and the combination of oboe and accordion make this one of the most atmospheric and memorable tracks. Delicious!

The combination of mixing a song and a tune on many of the tracks works well throughout but especially with the Begging Song and Bacca Pipes Jig which flow seemlessly from one to the other. The tunes are all well performed, of course, but I felt they let themselves down with Music for a Found Harmonium the arrangement of which I found unappetising probably because I've been spoiled by the version from our own local lad Chris Harvey!

Now on to the 2nd disc, the 'Complimentary Appetiser' which is a live album recorded at the White Lion, Wherwell. After the witty introduction they kick off with two waltzes followed by two lively jigs which are 'interrupted' by a misunderstanding as to which tune came next! Their sheer professionalism comes across here as they sort out the problem in milliseconds and then carry on playing as if nothing had happened!

The varied nature of their repertoire is well illustrated when the Swanee whistle turns up on Ebenezer. Doug Bailey's first ever recording of a Swanee whistle I might add!

Add the riduculous Goliath of Gath, a couple of Welsh tunes and the unlikely (on a folk album!) Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Vivaldi's Spring from The Four Seasons and you get the picture.. these two are remarkable cooks... er.. I mean, performers!

All in all a veritable feast of good music - tuck in!

Shire Folk

Alan Creamer

A double CD for your money, and both are crackers in their own right!

The first is a standard studio recording of Paul Hutchinson & Paul Sartin, who formed BF in '95, and after a brief sabbatical are back with this jewel. Top quality accordion, violin and oboe playing, with vocals from exchoirboy Mr S. combine to form a superb collection of songs and tunes. And the sleeve notes had me laughing out loud - they need to be seen to be believed! A few tunes will be known to some - Bacca Pipes, Music for a Found Harmonium, and Cal for instance - but sometimes reworked in to some very unlikely formats. The music is a combination of serious and wacky - but always entertaining. 'Rondo a la Turkey' starts with Mozart, slowly turns into an Eastern dance, then somehow morphs into an Appalachian tune, by way of Yakety Sax and Entrance of the Gladiators! Eleven tracks and nearly 55 minutes of wonderfully diverse music.

The second CD is the pair performing live in front of an appreciative audience. Both performers and listeners were obviously having a ball, and this is over half an hour of pure enjoyment! It's not just the extraordinary talents of two top musicians who obviously love playing together, but the fast and furious banter between the pair - sometimes throughout the tune!

Relaxed and very practised musicians giving a real show of their expertise, and making it funny and enjoyable. And as usual, lovely clean and clear sound from Doug at Wildgoose Records.

EDS

Elaine Bradtke

One glance at the cover and the listener should know what to expect within. This is a two CD set: The Main Course was recorded in the studio, The Complimentary Appetiser recorded live at an undisclosed location. Sartin sings, plays the oboe, violin and whistle, meanwhile Hutchinson does his best to imitate an entire orchestra with his piano accordion.  Their music is a salad of classical and folk influences, seasoned with humour.  The studio recording is what you'd expect if you've heard their previous work. Indeed, some of the melodies have appeared on earlier CDs. They follow a recipe of elegant arrangements and seamless transitions to produce a well-balanced and beautifully executed selection of tunes and songs, flavoured with a piquant dash of zaniness.  Tracks include a handful of dance tunes from the Playford canon, and several songs from Sartin's ancestor, Edith Sartin.

This recording is a feast for the ears.  Listen to the richly melancholic beginning of 'La Belle Jardiniere/Ebenezer' (the entrance of the swanee whistle does lighten the mood a bit) or the evocative theme music from the film Cal. Things drift towards the absurd around track five of the studio disc. 'Rondo a la Turkey' is a madcap medley of Mozart and a minor version of 'Turkey in the Straw'. They have an uncanny knack for blending disparate melodies in unanticipated ways. This is exploited to an unbelievable degree on the live disc, where musical jokes and extracts of popular melodies are tossed into the mix at an intoxicating rate. 'Tommy Jenkins/Hunt the Squirrel' is full of musical references and antics, which happily bears repeated listening.  Downright silly they may be at times, but they have the skill to pull it off.

Whats Afoot

Linda Knight

Belshazzar's Feast is an opportunity to indulge yourself in the company of the very talented Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin.

The Two Pauls lead us to our seats at the table with two stately English tunes and settle us at our places with a song from the reedy voice of Paul Sartin. Then begins the feast with a couple of lively tunes, followed by the cautionary reminder of the consequences of imbibing too much ale ? the mournful song Dol Thy Ale That done we are restored to good cheer by a Rumanian dance courtesy of Bartok. The courses that follow are a selection of tasty dishes with some fabulous flavours, unexpected bites and subtle nuances. The meal is rounded off with a playful version of Music for a Found Harmonium ? what else would you expect ? leaving the diner replete but not stuffed. Which is just as well because there is more to follow; we can withdraw to the bar! and be gloriously entertained by the musical wit, and humour of the two P's.

If you havn't seen these two perform live then get out there and do it ? until then this recording will have to do!

Taplas

Delyth Jenkins

THE TWO Pauls, Sartin (violin, oboe and vocals) and Hutchinson (accordion), make up this dynamic duo with a feast of music radiating from England to various points in Europe. At times, Hutchinson's accordion bellows out the bass as powerfully as a church organ. At other times, his playing weaves impressively in and out of the melody, as in the elegant, stately and quintessentially English Mundesse Gathering Peascods.

The subject of ale and heavy drinking is often dealt with in a light and humorous way in the folk music tradition, but Dol thy Ale, with its words dating from mediaeval times, is a salutary tale about the dangers of heavy drinking, very convincingly performed, and sadly still ringing true today: But all is not doom and gloom! Rondo a la Turkey and their development of  Music for a Found Harmonium give an idea of their musical humour.

This humour is given full vent in the second CD, recorded at a live performance. We are taken along on an often hilarious musical journey, marred only by a rather cheap throwaway anti?Welsh comment. Other than that, this music, whether live or in the studio, is, like good food, a tonic to the spirit.

Rock n Reel

Dai Jeffries

4 Star Rating

Not a stop remains un-pulled out for this new offering from Paul Sartln and Paul Hutchinson, alias Belshazzar's Feast. The lavish quadruple foldout pack with photographs by David Angel contains a new studio album and a live set.

Sartin, who splits his time with Faustus and Bellowhead, sings and plays fiddle and oboe while Hutchinson plays accordion. The material is an eclectic, not to say eccentric, selection mixing traditional songs and tunes with some Mark Knopfler and Simon Jeffes. A close reading of the sleeve notes may suggest that they are not taking this entirely seriously and 'Rondo A La Turkey will convince you. Actually they do take it seriously but they have a good time while they're doing it.

The best way to appreciate Belshazzar's Feast is to hear them live. As you will have observed during 'Music For A Found Harmonium, they delight in mixing up tunes, morphing one into another and making 'mistakes'. The first set on the live disc, 'Boda Waltz/Miss Love's Waltz', includes all three tricks and by the end you'll be grinning hugely - and that's without the Swanee whistle solo.

Fun for all the family and some wonderful playing, too.

fRoots

Colin Irwin

First, four words about the packaging; lavish, complex and clever. Much like the two CDs it homes. One is a live recording, which dazzlingly captures their humour virtuosity and versatility, while the studio CD demonstrates,.. well, their humour, virtuosity and versatility.

From a strong grounding in classical music, Paul Sartin has already made inestimable contributions to Bellowhead and Faustus and must already be approaching godlike status. The legend grows here as he plays oboe, whistle and violin (and it definitely is a violin, not a fiddle) on a probing, surreal and disarmingly unconventional exploration of everything from classical and early music to Remember: You're A Womble with accordionist Paul Hutchinson (the hairy bearded one).

It may be an acquired taste, but Sartin's morbid voice - so effective on the last Faustus album - takes you by surprise every time. There you are, lost in the complex musical cross-breeding anal audio jokes (there's a particularly fine blending of Music For A Found Harmonium with Rock Around The Clock) when that voice suddenly makes its entrance to deliver The Begging Song or Twenty Eighteen with a stirring gravitas rarely heard in this or any other neck of the woods. This even applies to the drinking song Dol Thy Ale, which suddenly splurges into a Romanian dance tune collected by Bartok; while we also get Mozart taken to the Appalachians and a solemn treatment of Mark Knopfler's movie theme Cal (complete with sleeve joke �We really wanted to swell Mark's coffers since we have been told he's in dire straits.�)

Song, dance, top tunes and corny gags... this is indeed a feast fit for kings and peasants alike.  

Netrythms

David Kidman

Hey, d'ya remember Belshazzar's Feast? � the formidably fine duo formed by accordionist Paul Hutchinson and oboist/violinist/singer Paul Sartin back in the mid-90s, which motored on bravely for a good number of years producing no fewer than five albums for WildGoose before drawing to a temporary halt and taking a brief sabbatical principally due to the lads' heavy commitments elsewhere (Mr. H with Hoover The Dog and Okavango, Mr. S with Bellowhead and Faustus). Never ones to let a good opportunity lapse, however, they've somehow managed to shoehorn their masterful partnership back into those already unutterably crowded schedules and hurrah, Belshazzar's Feast (aka The Spice Boys!) are now back on the road. And on the CD player too, I'm glad to see (and hear), with this tasty new culinary offering. It's even more of an appetising menu than usual, for it comes in the form of a main-dish (full-length) studio disc with a complimentary (and complementary) bonus disc containing an "appetiser prepared at a live performance", all housed in a mouth-watering vol-au-vent of a digipack.

This particular musical partnership was always something rather special, the chemistry between the two musicians very pronounced, and if anything their sabbatical has sharpened those interpersonal responses even more. You might think that with just two instrumental colours the overall sound might get just a little boring after a while; not a bit of it! The sheer variety of available sounds and textures, combined with the brilliant (and at times brilliantly wicked) inventiveness of two players who really know their instruments and their capabilities inside out, makes for a whirlwind listening experience. And that's not considering the breadth of repertoire which they can call on with such ease, from traditional to classical to pre-classical and even world but all interleaved so incredibly naturally (well that's how it sounds!) into one music. Following each delectable twist and turn of a typical album-track tune-set proves to be an art in itself, and yes, I'll virtually guarantee you'll find a fresh nuance or added cheeky, knowing musical cross-reference on each successive playthrough.

I daren't spoil the myriad of scintillating musical surprises you'll encounter in this way, but suffice to say it ain't gonna be Playford or the Penguin Caf� or trad-arr as you know it, Jim! The many imaginatively arranged and executed instrumental items are punctuated (mostly on the studio set) by a generous number of songs, which Mr Sartin treats in a lively and yet amicably relaxed manner that's both immediate and appealing. At their live gigs, as you'll hear on the bonus disc, Belshazzar's Feast stun their audiences into silent submission with their marvellous musicianship, then roll 'em in the aisles with helpless laughter at their hilarious banter and, er, marvellous musicianship. For these guys possess the rare ability to both inspire and entertain by combining an acute intelligence of approach with superbly witty humour and virtuoso playing. As you'll hear on these discs, in spades; while the sleeve notes alone provide more genuine laughs than a year's supply of TV sitcoms - and they're just as funny on repeat reading too!

The Food Of Love is pretty much essential cuisine I'd say, if you're seeking a night out in good company serenaded by "Hairy Hutch and Suave Sartin", two of the most able musicians you could wish for, ready to respond to your every whim and mood-swing with the most delightfully appropriate music whatever its origin. Yum, it's all quite overwhelmingly good at times: feast don't fail me now - or, as I might well say to the two Pauls: "men, u is too much!"

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson are well known on the folk circuit in their 'other lives' with Bellowhead and Faustus respectively. When they get together as a duo even more sparks fly!

Looking at the sumptuous cover photos (taken at The White Hart, Whitchurch - which looks a really nice place!) and sleeve notes of this double CD offering from these two gentlemen one might be forgiven if you detect a little pretentiousness; arrogance even.... 'Sit back, relax and let your taste buds be aroused by this gourmet menu brought to you by Head Chef Paul Sartin (violin, oboe and vocals) and Sous Chef Paul Hutchinson (accordion)'...... but, of course, it's all done with the tongue firmly in the cheek!

So, to the main course where you'll find much to whet your appetite (yes, I'm continuing the gourmet theme!) including songs like Twenty, Eighteen and the salutory warning Be Careful in Choosing A Wife and, wait for it, Mark Knofler's theme music and song from the film Cal! The song is sympathetically performed and the combination of oboe and accordion make this one of the most atmospheric and memorable tracks. Delicious!

The combination of mixing a song and a tune on many of the tracks works well throughout but especially with the Begging Song and Bacca Pipes Jig which flow seemlessly from one to the other. The tunes are all well performed, of course, but I felt they let themselves down with Music for a Found Harmonium the arrangement of which I found unappetising probably because I've been spoiled by the version from our own local lad Chris Harvey!

Now on to the 2nd disc, the 'Complimentary Appetiser' which is a live album recorded at the White Lion, Wherwell. After the witty introduction they kick off with two waltzes followed by two lively jigs which are 'interrupted' by a misunderstanding as to which tune came next! Their sheer professionalism comes across here as they sort out the problem in milliseconds and then carry on playing as if nothing had happened!

The varied nature of their repertoire is well illustrated when the Swanee whistle turns up on Ebenezer. Doug Bailey's first ever recording of a Swanee whistle I might add!

Add the riduculous Goliath of Gath, a couple of Welsh tunes and the unlikely (on a folk album!) Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Vivaldi's Spring from The Four Seasons and you get the picture.. these two are remarkable cooks... er.. I mean, performers!

All in all a veritable feast of good music - tuck in!

Shire Folk

Alan Creamer

A double CD for your money, and both are crackers in their own right!

The first is a standard studio recording of Paul Hutchinson & Paul Sartin, who formed BF in '95, and after a brief sabbatical are back with this jewel. Top quality accordion, violin and oboe playing, with vocals from exchoirboy Mr S. combine to form a superb collection of songs and tunes. And the sleeve notes had me laughing out loud - they need to be seen to be believed! A few tunes will be known to some - Bacca Pipes, Music for a Found Harmonium, and Cal for instance - but sometimes reworked in to some very unlikely formats. The music is a combination of serious and wacky - but always entertaining. 'Rondo a la Turkey' starts with Mozart, slowly turns into an Eastern dance, then somehow morphs into an Appalachian tune, by way of Yakety Sax and Entrance of the Gladiators! Eleven tracks and nearly 55 minutes of wonderfully diverse music.

The second CD is the pair performing live in front of an appreciative audience. Both performers and listeners were obviously having a ball, and this is over half an hour of pure enjoyment! It's not just the extraordinary talents of two top musicians who obviously love playing together, but the fast and furious banter between the pair - sometimes throughout the tune!

Relaxed and very practised musicians giving a real show of their expertise, and making it funny and enjoyable. And as usual, lovely clean and clear sound from Doug at Wildgoose Records.

EDS

Elaine Bradtke

One glance at the cover and the listener should know what to expect within. This is a two CD set: The Main Course was recorded in the studio, The Complimentary Appetiser recorded live at an undisclosed location. Sartin sings, plays the oboe, violin and whistle, meanwhile Hutchinson does his best to imitate an entire orchestra with his piano accordion.  Their music is a salad of classical and folk influences, seasoned with humour.  The studio recording is what you'd expect if you've heard their previous work. Indeed, some of the melodies have appeared on earlier CDs. They follow a recipe of elegant arrangements and seamless transitions to produce a well-balanced and beautifully executed selection of tunes and songs, flavoured with a piquant dash of zaniness.  Tracks include a handful of dance tunes from the Playford canon, and several songs from Sartin's ancestor, Edith Sartin.

This recording is a feast for the ears.  Listen to the richly melancholic beginning of 'La Belle Jardiniere/Ebenezer' (the entrance of the swanee whistle does lighten the mood a bit) or the evocative theme music from the film Cal. Things drift towards the absurd around track five of the studio disc. 'Rondo a la Turkey' is a madcap medley of Mozart and a minor version of 'Turkey in the Straw'. They have an uncanny knack for blending disparate melodies in unanticipated ways. This is exploited to an unbelievable degree on the live disc, where musical jokes and extracts of popular melodies are tossed into the mix at an intoxicating rate. 'Tommy Jenkins/Hunt the Squirrel' is full of musical references and antics, which happily bears repeated listening.  Downright silly they may be at times, but they have the skill to pull it off.

Whats Afoot

Linda Knight

Belshazzar's Feast is an opportunity to indulge yourself in the company of the very talented Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin.

The Two Pauls lead us to our seats at the table with two stately English tunes and settle us at our places with a song from the reedy voice of Paul Sartin. Then begins the feast with a couple of lively tunes, followed by the cautionary reminder of the consequences of imbibing too much ale ? the mournful song Dol Thy Ale That done we are restored to good cheer by a Rumanian dance courtesy of Bartok. The courses that follow are a selection of tasty dishes with some fabulous flavours, unexpected bites and subtle nuances. The meal is rounded off with a playful version of Music for a Found Harmonium ? what else would you expect ? leaving the diner replete but not stuffed. Which is just as well because there is more to follow; we can withdraw to the bar! and be gloriously entertained by the musical wit, and humour of the two P's.

If you havn't seen these two perform live then get out there and do it ? until then this recording will have to do!

Taplas

Delyth Jenkins

THE TWO Pauls, Sartin (violin, oboe and vocals) and Hutchinson (accordion), make up this dynamic duo with a feast of music radiating from England to various points in Europe. At times, Hutchinson's accordion bellows out the bass as powerfully as a church organ. At other times, his playing weaves impressively in and out of the melody, as in the elegant, stately and quintessentially English Mundesse Gathering Peascods.

The subject of ale and heavy drinking is often dealt with in a light and humorous way in the folk music tradition, but Dol thy Ale, with its words dating from mediaeval times, is a salutary tale about the dangers of heavy drinking, very convincingly performed, and sadly still ringing true today: But all is not doom and gloom! Rondo a la Turkey and their development of  Music for a Found Harmonium give an idea of their musical humour.

This humour is given full vent in the second CD, recorded at a live performance. We are taken along on an often hilarious musical journey, marred only by a rather cheap throwaway anti?Welsh comment. Other than that, this music, whether live or in the studio, is, like good food, a tonic to the spirit.

Rock n Reel

Dai Jeffries

4 Star Rating

Not a stop remains un-pulled out for this new offering from Paul Sartln and Paul Hutchinson, alias Belshazzar's Feast. The lavish quadruple foldout pack with photographs by David Angel contains a new studio album and a live set.

Sartin, who splits his time with Faustus and Bellowhead, sings and plays fiddle and oboe while Hutchinson plays accordion. The material is an eclectic, not to say eccentric, selection mixing traditional songs and tunes with some Mark Knopfler and Simon Jeffes. A close reading of the sleeve notes may suggest that they are not taking this entirely seriously and 'Rondo A La Turkey will convince you. Actually they do take it seriously but they have a good time while they're doing it.

The best way to appreciate Belshazzar's Feast is to hear them live. As you will have observed during 'Music For A Found Harmonium, they delight in mixing up tunes, morphing one into another and making 'mistakes'. The first set on the live disc, 'Boda Waltz/Miss Love's Waltz', includes all three tricks and by the end you'll be grinning hugely - and that's without the Swanee whistle solo.

Fun for all the family and some wonderful playing, too.

fRoots

Colin Irwin

First, four words about the packaging; lavish, complex and clever. Much like the two CDs it homes. One is a live recording, which dazzlingly captures their humour virtuosity and versatility, while the studio CD demonstrates,.. well, their humour, virtuosity and versatility.

From a strong grounding in classical music, Paul Sartin has already made inestimable contributions to Bellowhead and Faustus and must already be approaching godlike status. The legend grows here as he plays oboe, whistle and violin (and it definitely is a violin, not a fiddle) on a probing, surreal and disarmingly unconventional exploration of everything from classical and early music to Remember: You're A Womble with accordionist Paul Hutchinson (the hairy bearded one).

It may be an acquired taste, but Sartin's morbid voice - so effective on the last Faustus album - takes you by surprise every time. There you are, lost in the complex musical cross-breeding anal audio jokes (there's a particularly fine blending of Music For A Found Harmonium with Rock Around The Clock) when that voice suddenly makes its entrance to deliver The Begging Song or Twenty Eighteen with a stirring gravitas rarely heard in this or any other neck of the woods. This even applies to the drinking song Dol Thy Ale, which suddenly splurges into a Romanian dance tune collected by Bartok; while we also get Mozart taken to the Appalachians and a solemn treatment of Mark Knopfler's movie theme Cal (complete with sleeve joke �We really wanted to swell Mark's coffers since we have been told he's in dire straits.�)

Song, dance, top tunes and corny gags... this is indeed a feast fit for kings and peasants alike.