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PETE FYFE of Pete Fyfe

reviews Short Sharp Shanties Vol. 3 by Collected from John Short

So here I am, sitting in Fyfe Mansions (OK, my flat in Croydon) with a strong South-Westerly lashing against my window panes eating a Tuna sandwich (I know I shouldn’t but it’s the only fish I like) and even David Dimbleby going on about a “stormy outlook ahead”. How suitable then to be writing a review of this, the third and final in the series of Wild Goose Recordings “Short Sharp Shanties”.

All hail the foresight of Doug Bailey in enlisting a cosmopolitan crew including Keith Kendrick, Tom & Barbara Brown, Jim Mageean, Jeff Warner, Sam Lee, Roger Watson and Jackie Oates for, as Bailey explains in his sleeve notes this not a vanity project and by adding musical accompaniment including contributions from that well-known salty dog Brian Willoughby on guitar it opens the interpretations for a free flowing, spirited performance that will suit the general public and not just the die-hard acapella traditionalist.

It must have been an interesting process choosing who sings what but at the end of the day all of the songs including popular standards “Dead Horse”, “Do Let Me Go”, “The Bull John Run” (at least under their modern-day titles) are given a sprucing up and, as I’ve mentioned before become somewhat more consumer friendly. Over the past two or three years I must admit to having been very seriously seduced by the call of the sea and this set of three albums (there are 20 tracks here) are all worth purchasing by any self-respecting Shanty singer and those that just wish they were.