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Pete Fyfe of

reviews Changeling by Crucible

Its rather nice to see the resurgence of interest in all things English for hot on the heels of Dr Faustus comes Crucible with their debut release. The first two tracks of the album The Bold Poachers and From Night til Morn evoke memories of Steeleye and the Albion Country Band (without the electrics) although reading through their sleeve notes I notice that Crucible dont quote either as the source. No, rather more studious than that, the quartet of Gavin Davenport, Helena Reynolds, Richard & Jess Arrowsmith have researched their material the hard way and taken the option of doing the job correctly in collecting the songs and tunes from sessions, old manuscripts and their parents etc. Nothing wrong in that - in fact, I find it refreshing that they could find the time to be bothered in articulating the reference points when a majority of the material is so readily available on numerous recordings before them. Why, I even remember hearing the Devil And The Farmers Wife being performed in a similar style by the City Waites years before (although, perhaps somewhat saucier). Its obvious that all four have spent a great deal of time in correctly balancing the brooding tonal quality of the 5-string violin, fiddle, guitar and melodeon to accompany the vocals. This is the kind of album that takes some getting into because if like me you are of a certain age you think youve probably heard it all before but like a gently simmering broth its well worth the wait.