Val Haines of Mardles
reviews Sideways by MoiraiMorai is a coming together of three women from various strands of the folk scene:
• Jo Freya (Blowzabella, Token Women, Fraser Sisters): vocals, saxophones, clarinets, whistles;
• Sarah Matthews (Cupola): vocals, violin, viola, guitar;
• Melanie Biggs (All Blacked Up): vocals, melodeon, flute.
The album contains alternating, mostly contemporary, tunes and songs. The sleeve notes acknowledge renowned fiddler Dave Shepherd and melodeon master Andy Cutting whose styles are evident in the band's play
ing and arrangements. There is a hint of French influence in the tunes although only two, Gilles Chabenat's Chassepain/Baudimic set and Le Gop's La Chapka actually are French. The others are from Ireland and England or composed by members of the trio and played in a lively, multi instrumental way. All the girls sing and in very different voices; my particular favourites are the country style Magpie Sitting on a Broken Chair from Simon Mayor, Garden of Love which is dedicated to Ralph Jordan and Candlelight dedicated to Maggie Boyle. The tune set Ufton Court/All Saints has a lively whistle and fiddle combination which I would like to have heard more of.
All in all a solid, steady paced, no frills album with a good selection of songs and tunes, well sung and played.
Who could ask for more?