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Ivan North of Folk London

reviews National Youth Folklore Troupe of England by NYFTE

NYFTE is the National Youth Folklore Troupe of England, a group of young people from all over the country who share an interest in traditional music, song and dance. The age range is between ten and eighteen years and was it formed in 1990.

NYFTE performances are a mixture of all kinds of folk dance from morris to stepping and country dancing. Each year NYFTE holds a variety of training events and then they visit a number of folk festivals by invitation. One of their favourites' is Chippenham and this; their first CD was launched at this year's festival. They of course provide their own music and the musicians and singers are featured here. There are thirty or so perfomers on this album, too numerous to mention. The dominating instruments are whistle (or recorder),
fiddle and melodeon. (None are individually credited). On several tracks the troupe become singers and give vent to chorus songs and shanties. Being dance oriented most of the instrumentals stem from the morris or ceilidh dances. Examples are Old Mother Oxford, Two Sisters (the tune used for Upton on Severn Stick Dance) and The Lass of Richmond Hill (for the Raglan tradition). The Sea Song Set starts with The Princess Royal, before it ends with the mandatory Sailor's Hornpipe. Serpentina Och Konfetti and Stoney Steps are used for folk dances. All these tracks build up nicely and are well presented.

The songs seem to have less arrangement. Thousands or More has a full on chorale and sounds as if it was recorded in a large hall. In the shanties South Australia and Billy Riley the massed ranks almost overwhelm the solo singer!

The CD is well recorded and is a credit to the performers and artistic advisers. All profits go to the NYFTE funds.