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Dave Tuxford of The Living Tradition

reviews September Days by Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner

As with their previous two CDs, September Days sees Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner continue to demonstrate their affinity for traditional music. Skilful arrangement and exquisitely complementary harmonies rejuvenate even well-worn material such as Twa Corbies and The Collier Laddie. However, Heraud and Turner also successfully tackle less familiar numbers like The Whitsuntide Carol, collected in Cambridgeshire and recorded by The Young Tradition, The Bonny Irish Maid and The Little Turtle Dove, collected in Somerset by Cecil Sharp.


The duo would be well worth catching even if their repertoire comprised solely traditional material, of which they are superbly competent interpreters. But Heraud and Turner have an ear for a good `composed' song, as with Jim McCourt's evocative September Days and Roger Bryant's anti-war Foreign Fields. Turner herself proves no slouch as a songwriter with The Harper and Lament Of The Flither Girls ('flithers' - limpets and mussels - were collected by fisherwomen in the nineteenth century to bait the nets of their menfolk - ah, those were the days).


Then, just when you think you have their measure, Heraud and Turner throw in one of their jointly-composed comic numbers. Pheremones hilariously explores the chemistry of attraction: `If you're sniffed by Mr Right you know you can't go wrong.' No, indeed. Off For The Op, in which the duo take cosmetic surgery to its logical absurd conclusion of `having my face replaced', enjoys the unique distinction of featuring both nipple hair removal and vaginal tightening, reference to which (in live performance) brings guffaws from female members of the audience and nervous shuffling from the men - I can't imagine why. It's a tribute to the performance skills of Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner that they succeed in pulling it off so triumphantly. The change of mood, I mean.