There’s not enough space here to go into all the band connections of the members of Frog On A Bike, an English ceilidh band from the Cambridgeshire / Lincolnshire region. Suffice it to say they’ve all got pedigree! The band comprises Phil Pearce, bass guitar, vocals; Sarah Sennett, recorder, vocals; Tom Sennett, melodeon, concertina, vocals; Den Smith, drums, bodhran, bongos; and Tim Sparrow, fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, mandolin, vocals. And let’s not forget manager Lyn Smith who is caller at live events and plays a mean triangle.
This album gives a fair cross-section of an evening’s entertainment, with a good mixture of tunes and songs both accompanied and a cappella. The music is mostly melodeon-led, with plenty of bounce and brio for the faster numbers, and a delicacy of touch in the slower airs. The singing is nicely restrained, with good vocal interplay. The band’s music is, as you might expect, mostly English, with some Welsh and Irish thrown in, and a cracking version of Frederic Paris’ La Marianne to give an added dimension and nationality (not to mention an Eb / Bb melodeon for an extra bit of lift.)
There’s more than enough instrumentation to allow lots of variation in overall sound, and there is a good-time light-touch feel to the playing which leads me to think that this is a group who enjoy playing in each other’s company. This is certainly a band that I would like to hear live, having enjoyed this studio session.