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Mary Humphreys of Mardles

reviews Look Out! by White Star Lineup

This is a set of two CDs of 23 newly composed songs written by Jeff Henry, Brian Hooper and Barry Wake for a stage production of Southampton's Titanic story in song. The cast is a Hampshire based group of singers and musicians including multi instrumentalist and vocalist Pete Harris. The songs recreate the story of the sinking of the Titanic on April 14th 1912 and the aftermath for the town's industry and workers.

As you would expect from the subject matter it is not the jolliest of shows but there are some good chorus numbers. Jobs for the Boys could be sung as a standalone number and I especially liked the banjo accompaniment here. There is a particularly good modern shanty 21 Knots sung by the men of the cast.

The first CD deals with the story of the arrival of the Titanic in Southampton, the hope for regular employment that seemed to be associated with it and the tragedy of the maiden voyage. The second CD deals with the economic disaster that hit not just the families of the crew who were lost but of those crew members who survived. Many of the songs are written from the point of view of Fred Fleet the crew member who raised the alarm, survived the disaster and who continued working on ships for many years afterwards. There is an excellent chorus song Say the Word which could escape from the show into independent life in the folk clubs.

As you would expect with WildGoose recordings the production values are first¨rate. The only niggle I have is that we don't get told who are the individual singers/musicians on each track, but with only a single fold sleeve insert there was not room for that detail. At £11.99 the 2 CD set is a bargain.