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Ray Langton of EFDSS

reviews Wight Cockade by The Dollymopps

The Dollymopps are three fine singers from The Isle of Wight who have made it their mission to research songs collected from the island. They sing largely unaccompanied harmony with some exceptions featured on this CD. Their harmonies are tight, controlled and together but, as a result, at times lack that real excitement and passion that can be heard from similar groups who take a few more risks. On tracks where individuals take a solo lead, however, the singers appear to revel in the freedom provided, and demonstrate their ability to deliver the songs with excellent phrasing and dynamics.

The group obviously prefers to present their focus as the three-part harmony style, and therefore do not capitalise on the individual flair of each of the performers on this CD except for some very short introductory verses. There is a complete change to the atmosphere with the inclusion of a solo guitar piece ‘The Loyal Isle of Wight Volunteers’ Quick March’ which appears to be rather out of character with the rest of the CD. Again, there is another change in the mood, this time with a solo performance with guitar accompaniment of an interesting and unusual song ‘Jonas and the Devil’. This is a real gem of a performance and it is worth repeat playing; these two tracks are performed by Virgil Philpott.

If you enjoy unaccompanied harmony singing of traditional songs, you will doubtless enjoy this CD. It contains some unique versions of songs that hail from the Isle of Wight, which has provided a surprisingly rich source of material. I would really like to hear this group live and, even more, I would like to hear the individuals within the group being given more opportunity to lead longer sections of songs.