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Val Haines of Mardles

reviews A Day's Work by The cast of A Day's Work

A timely release of Mick Ryan's FirstWorld War inspired show, originally written and performed in 1995. There are 23 tracks performed by Mick and a stellar cast of Paul
Downes, Maggie Boyle, Matt Quinn, Heather Bradford, Greg Russell and Pete Morton. The album is in two parts; the first a rural setting and the second 'mostly at the front'. It's a collection of very clever songs, some catchy and some poignant, covering different wartime characters including the farmworker, the soldier, the soldier's mother, the 'conchie' and the conchie's dad. The vocals, musicianship and production are first class. My favourites are the jingoism of Come and Be a Soldier, the catchy shanty chorus in The Call, the tangoesqe What Men Do and The Lark Above the Downs, a song for the eve of the conscientious objector's execution, beautifully sung by the late Maggie Boyle as the boy's mum. There's nothing here that we aren't familiar with, but the mixture of song styles trad, contemporary, music hall and a capella, make up for this.