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THE COCK & BULL BAND "Encore Du Vingt" Mrs Casey Records MCRCD9993

Perhaps one of the mysteries of the folk scene is that Cock and Bull have been going for twenty years - this is an anniversary recording - without becoming one of the major players.

Possibly an absence of songs accounts for it. Certainly they have never followed up those unusual pastoral songs, from both English and French traditions, that they used to perform all those years ago. There's a little bit of singing here: a chorus-and-dance set in the Breton style. "M'y Faites Pas L'Amour" and a contemporary song, "Voyage" that shouts "Gabriel Yacoub" at your before you even look at the credits.

Mostly, though, this is driving dance music lead by the distinctive pipes of Jean-Pierre Rasle. There are some seemingly new influences, from reggae and world music, stitched seamlessly into the normal blast of Cock and Bull good time. They've also be listening to people like the Afro-Celt Sound System. The record company instruction: "File under Folk/Roots/Jazz/World" really says it all. There's nearly seventy minutes of it, as well. I recommend a long period of training before you start idiot-dancing around the living-room to this: And you will.

Bob Harragan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 33 of The Living Tradition magazine.