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PETE FYFE of Pete Fyfe

reviews Swan for the Money by The Old Swan Band

Well blow me down if this isn’t a recording that sounds as if it comes from a more magical period than the Great British public are at present experiencing. It’s almost as if I’d stepped back in time to the days I remember when I danced to the likes of the New Victory Band. Very much in keeping with the tradition the Old Swan Band sound as if they’re having a party and the use of ‘skulls’ on the drum-kit feels almost surreal in these days when most modern artists opt for technical gadgetry to propel the rhythm. Still, it’s quaint in that Lark Rise kind of way and in fact you could see the residents of that village (ok, I know it’s mythical but a man can dream can’t he?) having a right old knees up. It makes a refreshing change to go back to basics and if you’re looking for that quintessential ‘English’ sound you’ve come to the right place. With many established tunes in the band’s repertoire including “Dashing White Sergeant/Brighton Camp” and the much utilised “Walter Bulwer’s 2 & 1” married to a smattering of new tunes written by some of the band I can see certain sets being ‘poached’ by artists of a similar ilk…come to think of it!!! The accompanying sleeve notes (something I very much appreciate) are very informative and Tony Hall’s cover art as ever is as clever as the pun itself. www.wildgoose.co.uk