Baz Parkes of Shreds & Patches
reviews Six by Two by The Askew SistersIn the accompanying press release, Doug Bailey hopes “these two youngsters impress you as much as they did me.” They did. Four tune sets and two songs on fiddle and melodeon performed with skill and sensitivity. ‘the sampler’ (or EP, I suppose!) opens with a hurdy gurdy tune Chasse Pain and sets a high standard for what follows. Little Polly/Dick Iris’s Hornpipe are played with a drive that suggests a background in playing for dancing (Hampshire based Rubber Chicken, apparently). I don’t usually like any tune ending in “Dro” (too much finger linking and swaying for my liking!)
but the interplay between box and fiddle on Hanter Dro almost won me over. My test for any recorded morris tune is twofold.
1) Could you dance to it?
2) 2) Does it still sound good?
And the answer to both of these as the girls belt out Glorishears is a resounding “Yes”. And the segue into a slip jiggy Eleanor Rigby is wonderful, and makes you wonder why nobody thought of it before. Youth, I suppose.
The two song sets, Robin Wood and the Pedlar (Typo, or alternative title?) and Sovay are well arranged, and the singing competent, though I suspect voices are still developing. If you want a term of reference, think Spiers and Boden, with less stamping. And nicer shoes (Possibly). Please sir, I want some more.