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CHRIS COE, ALAN DUNN, CHARLIE HART, JOHN TAMS, GRAEME TAYLOR, CLAIRE TAYLOR AND KEITH THOMSON "47: Music of the Good Hope" (T2 001)

No. 47 is the name taken by the musicians involved in the National Theatre's touring production of the 'The Good Hope' a Dutch play about a dangerous fishing trip on which the survival of a community depends. The play has been 'relocated' to turn-of-the-Century Whitby and the music is provided by performers whose names should arouse considerable anticipation. Chris Coe (vocals, dulcimer, percussion, clogs), Alan Dunn (keyboards, accordion, vocals), Charlie Hart (fiddle), John Tams (vocals), Graeme Taylor (banjo, vocals), Clare Taylor (vocals) and Keith Thompson (whistles, shuttle pipes, clarinet, vocals) have between them a tremendous pedigree both in theatre production and on the folk scene.

However, this is an EP with a running time of 17'22" and is definitely a memento of the show rather than a 'standalone' release. Most of the tracks are short - a gorgeous 'St. Hilda's Waltz', the Sheffield carol 'Hark, Hark What News' and a new Tams recording 'All Clouds The Sky' give full value, but others are merely snatches, or medleys of snatches. It is a shame that something a little more extensive wasn't considered - for instance, the EP starts and finishes with Chris Coe singing 'Lowlands' - but only a verse or two. Surely we could have had her singing the whole song at some point? (I don't want to have to wait 30 years for her next solo album!). What there is sounds great - just be aware of what you're getting.

Paul Burgess

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This album was reviewed in Issue 48 of The Living Tradition magazine.