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THE NEW SCORPION BAND - The Downfall of Pears NSB 03

This band never disappoint. They always produce albums that are whole-hearted and all encompassing. If this band were a cricketer, they could dash off the fastest hundred of the season, bowl a spirited fast medium (and also fall back upon off-breaks when another spinner was called for), field anywhere (including donning the wicket-keeper's pads), and even have the humility to bring out the drinks as twelfth man. Correction: there is one role they couldn't adopt. They couldn't stonewall la Trevor Bailey to save a game: that is not their style.

Their style is to entertain. And here as usual we have something for everyone interested in Traditional Folk Music. Tim Laycock sings as effortlessly as ever; and this time I was particularly taken by Sharon Lindo's genuine Shirley Collins-ish pure/innocent voice of Olde England. (Not the faux-nave voice demonstrated by some women on the Folk Scene.) And Brian Gulland's array of wind instruments also impressed.

Two of my all time favourite songs are here. I Live Not Where I Love and The Hard Times of Old England. But my favourite cut was their version of that grand old song I had not heard in an age: The Friar in The Well. Naughty, but very nice.

Decent liner notes too. Black print on a white background: you cannot beat it. And good informative artwork to boot.

Dai Woosnam

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