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reviews Sounding Now by The Claque

Isca Fayre, Hollinmor, The Songwainers - all the members of The Claque, which, officially, only came into being as a group in 2006,belonged to one or more of these lusty groups that reach back over the past forty something years. Barry Lister, Dave Lowry, Sean O’Shea and Tom Addison continue the tradition of powerful unaccompanied, close harmony singing-occasionally not so close, for they’re not afraid to throw in the odd deliberate discord or unconventional concadence, to great effect.

Their material is drawn from the British Isles and almost all is traditional. Though I’ve associated songs like DRINK PUPPY DRINK and the scary TOM OF BEDLAM with the group members for a long time, several of the offerings, I had not heard until relatively recently when they were trying them out at their club at The Globe in Exeter. There’re also a few well-known songs from their repertoire that I might have expected on this album. Never mind, for I defy anyone to be disappointed by the songs they have selected, or not to appreciate the quality of their vocal arrangements.

In MY FAITHFUL JOHNNIE and the Padstow song, FAREWELL, FAREWELL, their close harmony is perhaps at its best, gentle in nature, as befits the character of the songs. In stark contrast, THE TRUMPETER and THE GOOSE AND THE COMMON are powerful in subject and delivery. One wouldn’t expect this quartet to omit a suitable nonsense song and I WENT DOWN TO LONDON, from the singing of the late Karl Peachey fits the bill admirably.

A brilliant CD-well worth waiting for!