Keith Deighton of Folk Monthly
reviews National Youth Folklore Troupe of England by NYFTENYFTE (pronounced "Nifty") is the less formal sounding name of the above, a group of young people between the ages of 10 18 who are interested in developing skills in traditional English music, song and dance. It has been in operation since 1990 and very successful it has been in giving many youngsters the opportunities to make friends, learn skills and develop confidence to perform in front of audiences at festivals and concerts. The group has benefited from the experience of many respected tutors who have given their time with the aim of ensuring a safe future for English traditional music.
I feel confident that the folk music I love is safe on the evidence of this CD. It is the group's first album and it was launched at the 2014 Chippenham Festival. Profits from sales will be ploughed back into the organisation to further its invaluable work, so not only is it a good financial investment, the album is enjoyable too!
The material consists of dance tunes interspersed with songs, all well known and generally happy sounding. There is a fine
rendition of Thousands or More, introduced to the group by Jess Arrowsmith. The harmonies are well thought out, as is the case with two shanties, South Australia and Billy Riley, which give great opportunity for joining in. I particularly like White Cockade, which is twinned with The Recruiting Officer's March". Sung as a male/female dialogue it really seems to capture the sentiments.
The dance tunes vary in age considerably, so there is a truly eclectic mix. They begin with School for Scandal, from the Thompson collection of 1778, moving on to Old Mother Oxford and Laura & Enrico from the manuscripts of Thomas Hardy; a sea songs set; and The French Detective, composed by Richard Payne of the ceilidh band "This Way Up".
This CD has been thoughtfully made, with informative yet concise sleeve notes. I hope it does well.