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Theo of Unicorn

reviews Four Across by English Rebellion

Ceilidh band English Rebellion are Anahata (melodeon, ‘cello, anglo concertina), Mary Barber (fiddle, viola), Nick Barber (melodeon, horn, soprano recorder, baritone) and Mary Humphreys (piano, English concertina, banjo, vocals), and this album is a glorious compilation of traditional, recently-written and ‘foreign’ tunes, plus a couple of songs.

It’s unashamedly dance music, in a style recognised as typically English -bouncy, measured and infectious - exactly what you’d get at an English Rebellion ceilidh; jigs, reels, polkas and hornpipes. The musicianship here is impeccable, with subtle interplay between the melody instruments as each takes the lead, whilst the ‘cello, horn and piano add depth and rhythm. There are some of my very favourite tunes here too -‘Merry Month’, ‘The Duke of York’s Hornpipe’, and ‘La Fete du Village’. The material is gleaned from a number of traditional sources, from Yorkshire to Devon and beyond, and these sit easily alongside compositions from John Kirkpatrick, Nick Barber and Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787)!

This is a delightful collection of wonderful dance music from a truly exciting band. I urge you to seek them out live, to dance to as well as listen to! Available from Wild Goose Studios or from any member of the band.