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Dai Jeffries of R2

reviews Swan for the Money by The Old Swan Band

There is a school of thought that measures the worth of a dance band by the number of obscure tunes it can find or the strange rhythms it can play.

This is completely misguided. The measure of a dance band is in how good it is to dance to, which is why The Old Swan Band is still one of the best. The familiar ingredients are still in place: three fiddles and three brass players with to Freya doubling up on whistles, topped off by Heather Horsley's keyboard and Martin Brinsford's unmistakable percussion. Far frorn being obscure, many of the tunes might be thought of as over familiar but they are still around because they are great dance tunes: 'Walter Bulwer's No. 2 & 1', 'The Sloe', a splendid medley of 'In & Out The Windows'/'Down The Road' heavy on the bass sax and trombone, and even 'Dashing White Sergeant'/'Brighton Camp'.

The music has the polish that comes of long years' playing while still retaining the freshness and 'lift' for which the band is famous. You can't help wanting to dance.