Far Distant Stars

by Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner

Brace yourselves! They're back with yet another CD of songs topical, lyrical, fanciful, comical, miserable, and sometimes hysterical... all guaranteed to entertain and keep you on your musical toes. "Stunning harmonies", "ingenious", "outrageous" (Everyman Folk Club)

1. Bold Grenadier (Trad)
A song of seduction and deceit.

2. Secrets (Lynne Heraud)
A bit of insider information about the two of us!

3. Poor Murdered Woman (Trad)
A true story. The unfortunate woman in this song was discovered by a local hunt in Leatherhead, Surrey. A local gardener, James Fairs, composed this song in 1834. The perpetrator was never brought to justice and the woman’s identity was never known.

4. Stress Incontinence (Lynne Heaud)
An all too common problem!

5. How the Cold Winds Do Blow (Graeme Miles)
One of the many songs written by the late Graeme Miles and based, he told us, on a true story.

6. Moth (Anne Lister)
A beautiful song and one of our favourites.

7. Mr Double-Barrelled (Lynne Heraud)
A song about the upwardly mobile Betty Smith

8. He went For a Soldier (Ruth Comfort Mitchell/Lynne Heraud)
A poem written by Ruth Comfort Mitchell either during or after the First World War.

9. Trolley Dating (Pat Turner)
A new craze that might be sweeping supermarkets in South East England.

10. Sheep Crook and Black Dog (Trad)
There are numerous versions of this beautiful song of unrequited love, sometimes known as ‘Flora’ or ‘Floro’.

11. Song For Tom (Pat Turner)
In memory of Lynne’s much loved youngest son, who so enjoyed our music.

12.Sympathy (Rare Bird)
An early 1970’s song written and performed by the rock band Rare Bird, which is still as relevant today as ever.

13. Mr and Mrs Smith (Lee & David)
A true music hall song, as sung by Miss Clarice Mayne. The old ones are still the best!

14. Iron Angels (Paul Davenport)
Paul Davenport’s haunting lullaby, the title of which was inspired by Anthony Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’.

Bold Grenadier
A song of seduction and deceit.
Sample not available
A bit of insider information about the two of us!
Poor Murdered Woman
A true story. The unfortunate woman in this song was discovered by a local hunt in Leatherhead
Sample not available
Stress Incontinence
An all too common problem!
Sample not available
How the Cold Winds Do Blow
One of the many songs written by the late Graeme Miles and based
Sample not available
A beautiful song and one of our favourites.
Sample not available
Mr Double-Barrelled
A song about the upwardly mobile Betty Smith
Sample not available
He went For a Soldier
A poem written by Ruth Comfort Mitchell either during or after the First World War.
Trolley Dating
A new craze that might be sweeping supermarkets in South East England.
Sample not available
Sheep Crook and Black Dog
There are numerous versions of this beautiful song of unrequited love
Song For Tom
In memory of Lynne’s much loved youngest son
Sample not available
An early 1970’s song written and performed by the rock band Rare Bird
Sample not available
Mr and Mrs Smith
A true music hall song
Sample not available
Iron Angels
Paul Davenport’s haunting lullaby
Sample not available

FolkWales Online Magazine

Mick Tems

I could listen to Lynne and Pat's shimmering, fabulous harmonies, their ear-bending repertoire and their lovely smutty humour at any time. They're usually lumped into the traditional-womens'-duo pigeonhole, but of the 15 tracks on this album, only four songs are of the same category; interesting little-known versions of two trad chestnuts, 'Bold Grenadier' and 'Sheep Crook And Black Dog', and the 19th-century ballad 'Poor Murdered Woman' is suddenly and amazingly brought to life by multi-tracked four-part voices - the feeling is like being knocked out by a velvet glove.

Lynne writes topical, straight-to-the-point, funny songs, with a whiff of music-hall. She bares her tortured soul with 'Stress Incontinence', the recurring problem which affects women of a certain age, and mocks the lace-curtain brigade with 'Secrets'. Meanwhile, Pat zooms in on supermarket sex with 'Trolley Dating' and composes a touching tribute in 'Song For Tom', in memory of Lynne's youngest son. They both salute contemporaneous writers with a trio of strong songs; the late Graeme Miles' 'How The Cold Winds Do Blow', based on a true story, the 1970s rock band Rare Bird's 'Sympathy', which is still as relevant for its message today, and 'Iron Angels', Paul Davenport's haunting lullaby, inspired by Anthony Gormley's Angel Of The North.

Pat's startling and deliciously complicated alto harmony really complements Lynne's soprano; it really is a very rare, unique sound. The highlight is the duo's interpretation of Anne Lister's desolate, gossamer-winged and extremely beautiful song 'Moth'; Anne, who lives with her actor husband Steve in the outskirts of Abergavenny, writes and sings exquisite story-songs which, in an ideal world, should put her in the Beyond The Border permanent guestlist. Her stunning composition, 'Icarus', had artists great and small queuing up to record it after Martin Simpson championed it - 'Moth' languished in its shadows, but it's still a brilliant song, and it's just the thing to top this cracking album.

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

'Brace yourselves! They're back....' says the accompanying blurb to this Lynne and Pat's 5th CD. An apt warning if ever there was one!

There is everything here from English traditional songs, through Music Hall to their own, funny, sometimes smutty and often outrageous self penned songs. Close harmonies and minimal instrumentation with English concertina, guitar and recorder completes the package.

Lynne and Pat open with a version of Bold Grenadier which is a different version to the one I do (from the singing of William Bartlett) but the sleeve notes, unfortunately, don't tell you where their version comes from. Other traditional songs on the album include Poor Murdered Woman, Sheep Crook and Black Dog and I Must and I Will Get Married. Apart from the first of these, again there is little information on their sources which is a pity. They are all performed very well with close harmonies much in evidence.

Among the contemporary songs on the album there is Graeme Miles' 'How Cold The Winds Do Blow' and a lovely version of Ann Lister's Moth which is one of my favourite songs from her vast repertoire of compositions. They conclude the CD with Paul Davenport's Iron Angels another well written and performed number. Music Hall is represented with Mr. and Mrs. Smith which was originally performed by Clarice Mayne. A saucy tale of an extra marital relationship with an expected but very amusing ending - just the sort of song that would appeal to Lynne and Pat!

Which brings me nicely to reviewing their own songs on the album. Three more good ones from Lynne - Secrets, which I don't really understand (honest!), Stress Incontinence, which is a typical Lynne Heraud 'toilet' song type of rendition and Mr. Double-Barrelled which takes an amusing swipe at snobbery.

Pat's two songs are very different in style. Trolley Dating is a very well written and amusing song about a new trend of which I wasn't aware of (enough said!) but her other song Song For Tom is a serious and heart wrenching tribute to Lynne's late youngest son.

If you are a follower of these two 'ladies' (I use the term very loosely!) then you'll need no encouragement in buying this latest offering but if you are not familiar with their approach then this CD will give you a very good incite to their varied styles of performance. Well worth trying.

Only seeing them at a live performance, which has to be seen to be believed at times, could be better than playing the CD.


David Kidman

Every few years, this personable duo reliably comes up trumps with another cleverly configured sequence of songs that's well-balanced to a fault, every item glittering with interpretive insight, sparklingly well-sung and simply and effectively arranged for their two voices in harmony, some items also sporting a modicum of instrumentation (choice of English concertina, guitar, recorder).  Far Distant Stars is very much the-mixture-as-before, adhering to the tried and tested Heraud-Turner format whereby top-drawer examples of traditional and contemporary song of a loosely 'serious' nature more or less alternate (almost predictably, it must be said) with lighter, humorous, even frivolous songs.  The latter are mostly self-penned (taking the form of wryly observational that's-life topicalsocial commentary), with others drawn from the music-hall tradition.

The serious songs are particularly well chosen and appointed; the disc kicks off with

a compelling treatment of The Bold Grenadier; continues with evocative Graeme

Miles opus How The Cold Winds Do Blow; an insightful take on Moth (from the pen of Anne Lister); Song For Tom written by Pat in memory of Lynne's late, and much-loved, youngest son; Paul Davenport's haunting and darkly brooding lullaby Iron Angels; and, best of all, a standout setting by Lynne of an extraordinarily powerful WW1-era poem by Ruth Comfort Mitchell (He Went For A Soldier).  Lynne and Pat also make a credible fist of the Rare Bird hit Sympathy.  

It's been the case in the past that some of Lynne and Pat's light-comedy or novelty numbers have palled on repetition, but those on this latest CD don't seem to share that fate to quite the same extent (although they will always naturally work best on stage, and some audio and verbal gimmicks may irritate).  The topics tactfully tackled are obvious from the song titles: Trolley Dating, Secrets, Mr Double-Barrelled and Stress Incontinence (the latter pairing a hysterically apt aria-cumballad-cum-lute-song setting with a mournfully po-faced vocal delivery).

With Far Distant Stars there can be no doubt that Lynne and Pat again prove their status as a class act on the WildGoose roster.

Folk Monthly

Bob Taberner

Lynne and Pat have a slight disadvantage. Audiences remember them for their modern day music hall style songs which  are so good that they tend  to overshadow the pair's fine  accompaniments and harmony  singing. Taking this CD as an  example, those comprise only a third of their repertoire. There are lots of serious songs including Anne Lister's lovely song Moth and Pat's brilliant Song For Tom. As you'd expect, most of the songs come from a female perspective and, apart from a song written by Graeme Miles, there's a definite bias towards songs from Southern England.

Lynne and Pat are singers that I always love to see and this is the next best thing to seeing them live. Recommended.

The Living Tradition

Jim McCourt

English folk song is alive and well! Far Distant Stars contains 15 tracks of a cappella and harmony music by this well known and highly popular duo. Steeped in experience, Lynne's plaintive tones blend beautifully with Pat's deeper, richer voice, as they span traditional and contemporary genres, while including tributes to music hall.

Any CD which covers such diverse topics as stress incontinence, supermarket dating, murder, gossip and the aspirations and disappointments of love, marriage, and flirting, must have something to commend it! Laments, laughter, true stories and tragedy are all in the mix. The emphasis throughout is on Lynne and Pat's voices, with accompaniment (provided by Lynne on recorder and Pat on guitar and English concertina) tending to be minimal and restrained.

Lynne herself contributes three comedy songs (so difficult to write) and adds music to a World War I poem. Two songs have been penned by Pat, one being the touching Song For Tom. Four tracks are traditional, including The Bold Grenadier and the true story of a Poor Murdered Woman. Anne Lister's beautiful song, Moth, is also covered, as are compositions by Graham Miles and Paul Davenport. There is even space for Sympathy by the rock group Rare Bird.

This eclectic variety of song, all easily united under the umbrella of folk, will be an inspiration to singers, especially those ready to brave a club audience or seeking to try harmony vocals. With its authenticity, accessibility, warmth and commitment, Far Distant Stars epitomises what is best in folk song.


Chris Sullivan

One thing that you can depend upon with Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner's music is variety, and "Far Distant Stars" show this at its best.

The themes of the CD's traditional songs, or songs written in a traditional style, are ones frequently found in the genre. Death is covered by Poor Murdered Woman, How the Cold Winds Do Blow (which I actually found rather repetitive), and, very appropriately, He Went For a Soldier, a setting of Ruth Comfort Mitchell's poem chronicling the futility of the experiences and death of a young soldier in the First World War. Sheep Crook and Black Dog and I Must and I Will Get Married, on the other hand, set out two opposing views of the desirability of marriage.

Lynne and Pat's own compositions, though, cover topics that you wouldn't normally expect to become the subject of a song. These include the nosiness of middle aged, middleclass women (Secrets), meeting a desirable partner in the supermarket (Trolley Dating) and, in a cry from the heart   or some part of the anatomy, anyway   Stress Incontinence. Unexpected in another way is the inclusion of Rare Bird's 1970s hit Sympathy, which works remarkably well when sung unaccompanied.

A couple of ditties with a music hall flavour also appear. These are Lynne's Mr DoubleBarrelled, which is very entertaining and is only saved from being exceptionally rude by astute wordplay, and Mr & Mrs Smith, which tells of the innocent (or not so innocent?) goings on between master and serving lass while the mistress is out at her sewing class. Standing apart from all these is the poignant Song for Tom, written by Pat, which is a lovely, and ultimately uplifting, song in memory of Lynne's youngest son.

So a very diverse collection of songs, then, but the things that hold them all together are the excellence of the singing and harmonies, subtly enhanced by accompaniment on the concertina, guitar and recorder, and the sense of fun exhibited on the less serious tracks. To appreciate Lynne and Pat at their best you should probably see them live, but until you can do that, this CD will give you a great taster of what you can expect.


September 2014


David Warwick

'Brace yourselves! They're back with yet another (their fifth) CD of songs topical, lyrical, fanciful, comical, miserable and sometimes hysterical� all guaranteed to entertain and keep you on your musical toes.' So reads the opening paragraph of WildGoose's promotional literature for Lynne and Pat's new offering. Well, I can't better that.

I reviewed their last CD, Tickled Pink, in 2010, and have been waiting with anticipation for this new one. The ladies deliver two delightful voices in harmony with wit, style, imagination and a wicked sense of humour. Who else would add a self-penned (by Lynne) song called 'Stress Incontinence' to their repertoire? This CD has 15 tracks, only 4 traditional, the rest penned by the singers themselves, or modern writers. One is quite unexpected, and all the more welcome for that: an early pop/rock song 'Sympathy' released by Rare Bird in the 1970s.

I particularly liked the a cappella, multitracking treatment of 'How the Cold Winds Do Blow' written by the late Graeme Miles: an eerie, haunting tune; and the lovely lyrical 'Song for Tom' written by Pat in memory of Lynne's youngest son Tom: doubtlessly a song deep and meaningful for both of them: 'You're always chasing rainbows, and never ever knowing why.' These women perform with passion and emotion, but are not sombre or pious about it (their music hall evenings are 'awash with sauce and innuendo'). They seem to have been struck with tragedy in their lives, and their music has patently been a strength to them: they have 'survivor' written all over them. Between them they play guitar, recorder, English concertina and a variety of whistles (including swanee, policeman's and referee's). Long may they entertain us.

Folk London

Ivan North

Lynne and Pat have been on the folk scene longer than they probably care to remember. Individually, and in combination with a variety of well known singers and bands, `They have both served long apprenticeships on the shop floor of folk music as both performers and organisers'. This is their fifth album and on it they also play recorder, guitar and English concertina.

The Bold Grenadier features recorder and concertina and is a minor key version of the traditional A Soldier and His True Love. Other traditional sons in two part harmony include Sheep Crook and Black Dog and I must and I will get married. This is a conversation between a mother and a daughter about the perils of matrimony! They include a number of contemporary songs  Graham Miles' How the Cold Winds Do Blow and Anne Lister's poignant Moth. On a lighter note, no Lynne and Pat performance would be complete without the humorous songs. Secrets takes us into the world of curtain twitching back biters, Mr Double   Barrelled (a music hall song), concerns a girl who wants to marry to change her name from Smith to something more posh. I did find Stress Incontinence hard to swallow and it did have me writhing in my seat! Pat contributes Trolley Dating   although I've never found love in a supermarket! Another of hers is Song For Tom a song in memory of Lynne's youngest son.

They are a popular duo and their gig list stretches well into next year. This is a very varied and entertaining CD. I wonder why it's called Far Distant Stars?