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Ian Wilson of Shreds and Patches

reviews The Voyage by Fieldwork

I think this is a brilliantly written, performed, and produced album. Its not the kind of music I normally listen to, but I became spellbound by the beauty and sensitivity of the songs.

The vast majority of these songs and their music come from the pen of Mick Ryan with some occasional help from Sarah Morgan and Mark Powell. Its really difficult to write a contemporary song in a traditional style without sounding corny but Mick just seems to churn them out, each sounding just as authentic and effective as the last. Many of these songs stand up in their own right, out of context of the show, and I can imagine them being used to good effect in many a repertoire.

The musical accompaniment is provided by Robert Harbron, concertina and guitar, Tim Van Eyken, melodeon and Paul Sartin, violin and oboe. It is superbly played and consistently brings out the atmosphere of the song without detracting from the vocals or the message.

Theres such a range of singers credited that it is impossible to be sure who is singing where, but the overall standard is so high that it doesnt really matter.

The songs and music come from the musical drama of the same name, which has recently been on tour. I was a bit worried that, not having caught the show, I might not do justice in reviewing the album. Now Im kicking myself for not having made more effort to see it.

A great album all round. Well done to all involved.