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Holly Moors of Moorsmagazine Netherlands

reviews The Axford Five by The Askew Sisters & Craig Morgan Robson

When you see how one deals with song tradition in other countries, then you become pea green with envy in the Netherlands. Over here we have the silly tinkerer Ate Doornbosch, who more or less by himself has made sure that no one here has even the slightest interest in the old Dutch songs which he has collected. This has much to do with the loveless and maniacal way in which Doornbosch collected so long as the texts were complete then he was satisfied. He had no idea about music or musical qualities.

This is completely different in England, as you can easily verify when you listen to the songs by the so called Axford five, the songs by five women from Hampshire, collected by George Gardiner, who recorded them in the village of Axford in 1904.
These songs, traditional even then, are sung by five female singers, who give them the interpretation and delivery which they deserve. It concerns songs of love and betrayal, murder and manslaughter, but also about naughty songs and songs of longing/home sickness/nostalgia. We hereby include two fragments, which make clear that they are performed with love and passion. Of course you do need to like these old songs and not shrink back from a piece of history and authenticity, but then you really get value for your money. The two sisters Askew, Emily and Hazel also play fiddle, melodeon and harp, Moira Craig, Sarah Morgan and Carolyn Robson sing.