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Derek Gifford of Folk Northwest

reviews Far Distant Stars by Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner

'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.