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Fellside Recordings FEDV001

It seems strangely appropriate that the first DVD under the Fellside banner (after 39 years in the business) is a showcase for two of the most talented of the current crop of Young Turks on the folk scene. In the three years since their first CD they have steadily built up a collection of awards and a steadfast following, and they gave a triumphant performance at 2013’s Cropredy Festival.

Here they give a live performance, in what was apparently a single take, at the Theatre Royal, Workington. Not so very long ago this would have been a venue quite local to me so I am familiar with the place, and it’s ideal to showcase a pair such as this. Both multi-instrumentalists, they mostly duet on guitar and fiddle more than competently, on material that is roughly 50:50, traditional and contemporary.

The initial set features a cracking take on Dan MacDonald’s Trip To Windsor in The Clumsy Lover Set (from their debut album). There’s also an excellent interpretation of Alan Hull’s Marshall Riley’s Army – although I think the boys need reminding that Jarrow is pronounced ‘Jarra’.

Studio versions of all but two of the 16 tracks here can be found on their two CDs, but seeing the guys in action is as good a place to start as any, if you want an introduction to their burgeoning talent. Even their stagecraft and introductory patter is remarkably polished for two so young. The Cumbrian All Chaps Choir make a nice cameo appearance on The Rose In June which opens the second half of the gig. Special mention is due to Giles Deacon, who plays admirable keyboards on the tune sets. Another minor criticism is the misspelling of Bernie Parry’s Davy.

All in all, though, a mighty fine time was obviously had by all and this DVD will do their future career no harm whatsoever. There are some interesting interview snapshots in the ‘extras’ too.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 107 of The Living Tradition magazine.