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PCW of Folk London

reviews Four Across by English Rebellion

English Rebellion are a ceilidh band consisting of Mary Barber (fiddle), Nick Barber (french horn, melodeon and recorders), Mary Humpreys (piano, English concertina, banjo, vocals) and Anahata (melodeon, cello, anglo concertina). At this point anybody who recognises the names will be skipping straight to the bottom for purchasing details.

The CD itself consists of 15 tracks including two songs by Mary. These are Gypsy's Wedding and Bonny Bunch of Roses, the latter sung to the tune of the Bampton dance Rose Tree at a solid dance tempo. It surprised me the first time through but it really works If you haven't heard Mary sing then you are in for a treat. Her voice is rich and full and the arrangements are superb.
The instrumentals come from a variety of sources ranging from old manuscripts to Nick's own compositions although very few are standards that you will hear around the sessions. The style of course very redolent of the English Country Music Weekends, slow and strongly rhythmic with plenty of room for stepping in the dances although they can't quite loose that Dartmoor swing from Bob Cann's Untie Jim's Barn Dance.

There are comprehensive notes on each track but despite being played in strict tempo and; as far as I can judge, with the correct number of repeats they seem to have forgotten the dance club market. The one thing that is missing is a simple note against each track giving the tempo and the number of bars.

The CD can be purchased on?line through