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Jill Fisher of Shire Folk

reviews Changeling by Crucible

Crucible Changeling (Wild Goose Records WGS 315 CD) This is one of those albums that grows in appeal on repeat listening. Crucible (consisting of Jess and Richard Arrowsmith, Gavin Davenport and Helena Reynolds) produces a pleasantly chunky, traditional sound. Theres little here of instrumental or vocal virtuosity (but that doesnt seem to be the point of this band), and some of the harmonies dont quite work (to my ear at least), but these are minor points when placed against the good-natured charm of the album as a whole. Of particular note are the instrumental arrangements, where the use of fiddles (4 and 5 string and octave), border pipes, melodeons and anglo concertina give a rich and luxurious texture that manages never to sound over-produced. My favourite track, though, exhibits none of this complexity. Poor Mans Labour- to the tune of The Cuckoos Nest- works beautifully, and showcases Gavins voice and Richards melodeon to great effect. But the albums a band effort, and for a superb example of their ensemble playing, Thermidor is a winner, while their vocal skills are elegantly demonstrated on Evening Hymn.