Baz Parkes of Shreds and Patches
reviews Furze Cat by HeketyThe first full length offering from Sheffields finest, and well worth waiting for. For those who dont know them, Hekety is a five?piece drumless dance band featuring melodeons, fiddle, viola, cittern, guitars, basses, and clarinet, all of which are featured to full effect on this CD.
A fine mix of self?penned and traditional tunes, Furze Cat is a good representation of what youll hear at a Hekety gig. After the initial stately opener Downhill Dream, were into familiar stomping territory with Rice/ The Man Tiger. All the band are dancers, be it ritual or social, and it dont half show on their version of Rambling Sailor. Other favourite tracks are Gavins Thank You Letter, which had me scouring the sleeve notes for any mention of a hurdy?gurdy. Failing to find one, I finally worked out it was a combination of melodeon bass end, viola (I think!) and cittern. Jakes J~g comes from the playing of Little Johnny England, but Im tempted to say that Hekety have made it their own. The CD finishes with another morris tune, Young Collins that eases nicely into the Playford standard Jamaica. Standard it aint lI A lovely end to the CD.
Playing throughout is exemplary, as any whove danced to Hekety or been lucky enough to share a pub session with them will vouch.
Just one minor carp; the accompanying booklet is suitably grainy and industrial in appearance, but the first two pages are virtually impossible to read, at least by these tired old eyes. This is a pity, as Gordon Potts sleeve notes (do we still call them sleeve notes?) tell you all you need to know about the band. Excellent as this recording may be, its still a poor substitute for seeing the band live, catch them if you can. (Gav, Rich and Jess, along with Gavs wife Helena, also perform as Crucible, who play equally splendid tunes mixed with some outstanding singing)
Oh, and I bet my old mates jockey Mens Morris of Birmingham never thought theyd get a mention on one of the must have CDs of 2004?