THE IRONMASTERS

traditional and original music played on acoustic and electric instruments

£12.50 inc post and packing

All Blacked Up

1. La Bastringue / Pepper in the Brandy  trad / kirkpatrick
2. Off to California / Rory's Hornpipe trad / parkes
3. Soldier's Joy / Over the Hills trad / trad
4. The Long Haired Field gillies / gillies
5. Mr Garner's / Beetle in the Wine mcdermott / whetstone
6. Homecroft / La Caleta britten / mcdermott
7. Oxbol Polka / Scan Tester's jenson / trad
8. Star Above the Garter / Spirit of the Dance trad / trad
9. A Morris Dance  trad
10. Gaspe Reel / Rambling trad / trad
11. John Wayne's Jig / Cardington Girls Tiomkin:webster / shepherd
12. Around the World for Sport  trad

£12.50 inc post and packing

NETRHYTHMS:
All Blacked Up - A Thousand Twangling Instruments (Coughing Dog Music)
All Blacked Up is one of the country's premier ceilidh bands, with over 20 years' experience of playing at most of the main folk festivals and ceilidh clubs in England.

Theirs is a particularly distinctive sound, and their ranks include original members melodeonists Lisa McDermott and Baz Parkes and sax supremo Alistair Gillies, with the estimable Bill Caddick recently added on sundry guitars and vocals, all bolstered by a sturdy rhythm section (Ray Archer and Nick Beck).
What an interesting and satisfyingly full sound they make too, with the traditional ceilidh-band squeezery (and harmonica, recorders and whistles) spicily supplemented by more jazzy saxophonics and from time to time some not-so-subtle R&B-type inflections.

Their stock-in-trade inevitably contains some of the well-worn ceilidh favourites such as Off To California, Pepper In The Brandy and Scan Tester's, but for every well-known tune there's likely to be appended a delightful new composition by the likes of Messrs Gillies or McDermott.

Another feature new to this latest incarnation of All Blacked Up is the Caddick-steered pairings of Soldier's Joy with Over The Hills And Far Away and Tufty Swift's Gaspe Reel with Rambling Soldier (“shame to waste such vocal talent”!), while the slide-geetar-led Homecroft marks a departure from the accepted ceilidh-band norm.

A further refreshing feature of the ABU sound is the spruceness of the rhythms, always great fun and decidedly non-lumpy - and there's even an almost Cajun feel to the Oxbol Polka, despite its Danish origin! The provenance of the various tunes is discussed entertainingly in the liner notes (mostly the work of caller Baz, we're told).

By the way, those allergic to “twangling instruments” need have no fears, for although some guitars (and a hammered dulcimer!) were used in the making of this record, none were harmed in any way and the disc shouldn't damage delicate sensibilities: the “tempestuous” (in the Shakespearean sense) title of this disc is definitely tongue-in-cheek!

David Kidman November 2007

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Green Man Review

All Blacked Up's Spirits of Another Sort is from a band that says of itself ...

'[a]lthough we still think of ourselves as an English country dance band, a quick glance at the source of these tunes reveals an eclecticism that would appear to belie this. What is English music anyway? We found our best answer in a novel by Peter Ackroyd (called, surprisingly enough, English Music) where he tells us '...It is perfectly clear to me now that English music rarely changes. The instruments may alter and the form may vary, but the spirit seems always to remain the same.''

And the title of Spirits of Another Sort 'tis rather fitting as that is what Oberon says to Puck in A Midsommer Nights Dreame when asked what they, the fey ones, are. This is fey music for a midsummers eve -- light, bouncy, and quite spirited!

What you get is a mix of trad tunes ('Ballyvournie Polka/Johnnie Mickie Barries' and 'Mazurka') and material of a more modern nature such as 'The Beano Annual General Meeting.'
If Kick Shins comes off as something that the Beatles might have thought up if they'd been slightly older, All Blacked Up comes off as a band aware that there is really no such creature that can be rigidly English music, but rather everything is in one form or another English music! Green Man Review

“When it comes to infectious ceilidh music guaranteed to get even the most reluctant feet tapping, if not dancing, All Blacked Up are among the best”
Folk London Magazine

“...driving, full-bodied yet eminently danceable music”
What’s Afoot Magazine

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