This spirited, dyed-in-the-Lancashire-wool duo has never disappointed us, having thus far released four CDs generously stocked with carefully chosen regionally sourced material. And here they retain this trusty modus operandi with a further highly satisfying selection. The Snapes’ signature style is distinctively salt-of-the-earth: sturdy and invigorating, full of breezy confidence and proven accomplishment and replete with a high feelgood factor, yet they take their craft seriously and treat the songs and their listeners with due respect. And they invariably find something new to say when tackling items sporting a more familiar title: for instance, in the case of broadsides which because they have been sourced in Lancashire are significantly different in content, they may supply a brand new melody when that content may not fit or scan to the more well-known melody (as in Bonny Light Horseman).
On their latest collection Peter and Barbara are sensitively and effectively augmented by Poppy Weatherall (violin) and/or John Adams (trombone) on several tracks, entirely in keeping with the intrinsic vibrant character of the Snapes’ own music-making. It’s also a pleasure to report that Barbara’s deep-seated penchant for the spirit and tradition of the music-hall is not neglected; she and Peter dispatch with due relish the rousing Work Boys Work (which, though actually penned by music-hall entertainer Harry Clifton, is sourced here from Roy Palmer’s Working Songs and tacks on the subsequently-added parody chorus for balance and devilment!). Finally, they bid adieu with Edwin Waugh’s evergreen A Lift On The Way, fair guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. All of which adds up to a reliable recommendation for this charming and thoroughly entertaining disc.