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Metric Foot Band - A Good Kicking
METRIC FOOT BAND - "A Good Kicking" - MFCD3

An infectious third offering from the Metric Foot Band sees the heart of English folk music is alive and very well. "A Good Kicking", subtitled music from Essex and further afield, is a jaunty trip through the barn dance tradition of the concertina and fiddle. Sara Graves' skillful playing of the concertina is the true gem to be found on this album, her playing fittingly offsets the sound of the drums which can at times sound rather obtrusive. The disc was recorded over four days at Vaulty Manor Barns late last year live (but without an audience) giving the whole production a natural fresh appeal, almost as if they were playing just for you.

This self financed project is their first totally instrumental recording, and kicks off with "Lord Byron's Maggot" a playford jig which leads into two slip jigs, given the full driving treatment, even ending with distorted guitar. Many of the tunes have been written by husband and wife team Mick and Sarah Graves, however, they aren't frightened of trying music from as the title, suggests "Further Afield". "Fat Tilley" for instance is a Shetland reel which casts more than a sideways glance to the classic "Hangman's Reel". All this sits happily along side Irish jigs, and even one tune from British Columbia.

All in all there is much to be admired on this recording, which will delight any fan of the English concertina. Hopefully it will allow The Metric Foot Band to stamp (sorry!) their mark upon the English folk circuit.

Keith Witham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 26 of The Living Tradition magazine.