Peter Massey of Green Man
reviews Looking Both Ways by George PapavgerisGeorge Papavgeris was born in Salonika, Greece, but now living in Middlesex, England. 'Singing the praises of ordinary people'- his motto. George Papavgeris is a singer songwriter with an edge of indifference, his Greek parentage and culture echoes in his tunes. George sings and plays acoustic guitar. He is aided on these recordings by: Vicki Swan (double bass, whistle, and nyckelharpa); Jonny Dyer (guitar, accordion and keyboards); Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe, and cor anglais); Peter Flood (cajon, Iraqi frame drum, and Udu pot); and The Tindalls supplying vocals.
George's songs are very meaningful -- more so to him. But on the way, they do make good listening. Songs about inner thoughts, experiences, and emotions are always an acquired taste and very subjective. On the whole I liked the album. A couple of the songs are worth an extra mention. They are the opening tack 'Handmedowns' a song about so much we take for granted in this life, things that are indeed just - handed down. A strong song at track 4 is 'Thieves of Innocence' very topical at this time, is about the forcible use of children in armed conflict; recent examples in the Congo. It is something that has happened time and time throughout history. It is nearer to you than you think; the bitterness in Northern Ireland is one example. On a lighter note, a lovely song on the next track is 'Miracle of Life' a celebration of that which is all around us, yet we take so little notice of.
Singer songwriters are owning up for prosperity, putting their soul on record in their music. It has been said that English folk club audiences will listen to paint drying and give it applause -- they are so bloody polite! Heaven knows, even I am guilty of putting out and singing some utter diatribe in the past! It seemed a good idea at the time! I firmly believe that every songwriter has at least one or two really good songs that stand out and cut across the average.
So there you have it, singer songwriters -- love them or hate them. George Papavgeris, for me is one that is worth listening to. You can buy this album on line here.