Thursday, October 01, 2015

New Music 2015 - Part 72 - Stick In The Wheel - From Here

The other strand to modern UK folk is delineated by this. I saw parts of several of the performances that Stick In The Wheel played at Cambridge Folk Festival 2015, but unfortunately all of none of them. Furthermore I was never in a place to take worthwhile photographs, which was a shame too. The album was still many weeks away from release at that time.

The d├ębut LP 'From Here' was released on 25 September 2015.
It comprises a mixture of traditional songs and new compositions but what unites all this is the urgency bought to bear on them. The sparse arrangements and the vernacular delivery of Nicola Kearey define it, well actually nail it. There is nothing remotely false or unconvincing about either of these things - in that sense it rather reminds me of the best of Glasgow's (now late lamented) Sons and Daughters and lead singer Adele Bethel. The music of Stick In The Wheel is however acoustic. Messy, but also astonishingly controlled. That brings The Pogues into the equation from time to time but Lucy Ward too. Think 'Alice In The Bacon Box', from her first album, here. It tells a story that could belong to a refugee right now.

It isn't actually backward looking and certainly does not hark back to a golden age. The feeling here is that the daily grind - on Bows of London in particular - just goes on. Whatever the surface shine might belie, it is that nothing has really changed at all.

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