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THE POSH BAND - "English" - X-Tradition TMM1927CD

It looks like there is a current resurgence in the appreciation of English dance music, with several bands releasing CDs celebrating the rich variety of our musical history. Simon Richie recently issued a solo-ish CD 'Melodion Mania' which featured three tracks from the Posh Band, whose other members are Ed Caines (fiddle), Sue Bainbridge (piano), and Ken Lees (banjo), together with John Adams guesting on a couple of tracks, and here they are, playing straight-down-the-middle English dance music. And they play it well! Straight from the brightness and freshness of the opening sounds of track one, 'The Duke of Cornwall's Reel', you know that the band just loves what it's doing - playing with verve and vitality. They have put together a selection of tunes ranging from the North Country and Yorkshire, to Sussex and the West Country, including several standards, but with many being less well-known, however the insert gives notes on sources. They are mostly jigs and polkas, but there is a set of schottisches, a sung waltz, and Simon Richie step-dancing to the 'Sussex Polka'.

There are fifteen tracks with all but three being traditional, and they are all played in 'traditional style. This recording isn't innovative or cutting-edge, it could quite easily have come from that flurry of dance band activity in the mid-seventies, but it is nicely done, extremely enjoyable, and very "English".

Mel Howley.

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This album was reviewed in Issue 35 of The Living Tradition magazine.