Link to Living Tradition Homepage





Sleeve not available Sleeve not available
Nigel Eaton and Andy Cutting
Panic At The Cafe BEJOCD27

Spot the common factor that gives the excuse for a joint review!

The Two Duos Quartet's offering is a real eclectic mix of sources and sounds. With two accordions in the front-line, the sound is fairly box- based, although the presence of a fiddle and up to two fine guitarists stops the squeezy things from getting out of hand! 7 of the 9 tracks are tune-sets composed or arranged by the members - some bouncy, some more reflective. I particularly liked the French-titled set of reels, Karen Tweed's hauntingly bagpipish "Miss Hanoria McNamara of Ballybunion" and the final track - an O'Carolan "Planxty" that I hadn't heard before - "Madam Maxwell" that draws out the accordion's ability to be haunting and soulful as well as bouncy and perky. Chris Wood throws in a couple of songs - one of his own in traditional style and "Through Lonesome Woods" - an English song in 5/4 that sounds like he got it from Martin Carthy ... which he didn't. An eerie plucked fiddle backdrop to the song makes it even odder - but I've always liked these 5-legged English peculiarities. Verdict? Quartet greater than the sum of its parts? As with Wood/Wilson/Carthy trio - my answer is probably "no", but both are combinations I'd love to hear live and I hope stay sporadically together.

The Eaton/Cutting offering is far more of a "love it or hate it" beast. I love it, but then I've always been a sucker for what is now labelled "early" music. Call me a sad old hippy, but the sound of a hurdy-gurdy parping away has always pleased my ears. This is a collection of fine self-penned tunes, many in "early music" style, although some of it has already escaped into more mainstream folk - Andy Cutting's "Bay Tree Waltz" made, for example, made its way on to the last Poozies CD in slightly funkier form, obviously via the Cutting-Tweed connection. The recording is actually a re-release of a 1993 cassette and it's survived that process. Is it for you? Although Andy Cutting's accordion fills up the sound considerably, it really depends upon whether the sound of a hurdy-gurdy excites you or brings you out in a rash!

Alan Murray

Secure On-line mailorder service Buy this CD online from The Listening Post
The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 34 of The Living Tradition magazine.