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Bedlam - Evolution Of The Lazy Tongue Selwyn Music SUNMCD0004

Don't ask about the title, there are no tracks by this name or any pointers as to why this phrase was used. As for the name "Bedlam", well this four piece band from Huddersfield certainly know how to have a good time and although no doubt capable of a bit of uproar and confusion, their controlled performance on this CD shows they have a keen working knowledge of the music and how to make it work.

And make it work hard too. This is not music for the background - there is too much of interest going on for that. Turns and twists of tempo, instrumental dialogue, shifts in emphasis and style and underlined with reliable and enthusiastic percussion from Ross McKinlay. Indeed the whole group show themselves to be capable and talented musicians and tunesmiths with seven of the tunes recorded here originating from within the group. As well as Ross McKinlay on drum kit and djembe there is also Bryony Griffith on fiddle, recorder and vocals; Drew McKinlay on guitar and vocals and Will Hampton on melodeon and bass guitar. Added to their own material such as, "Sunday Success", "Whirly Pit", "The Dog Rose Processional" and "Trip to Hull" are, "Cheviot Blast" by Ian Hardy, "The Iron Man" and "Gallaton" by J. Scott-Skinner and several others from various corners and traditions.

Tradition is very much the tone of their overall style. Sure, this may well be closer to the tradition of folk-rock but this is an airier, acoustic blend very much in a modern form aimed toward today's free-style ceilidh dancers. It still retains links to older styles and players but this is fresh made and served hot.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 41 of The Living Tradition magazine.