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Cocos Lovers


Smuggler Records

Sporting one of the classiest album covers we’ve seen in a while, this album is a family effort. It’s by a whole group of relatives based around deal in Kent ( England’s South East corner county, foreign readers ) and aiming at being part of the current version of ‘The Folk Scene’, whatever shape that is presently taking. If you’d then expect the songs to be the stars of the disc rather than the ego-trips of the performers, you would be correct.

Starting out playing festivals, the ensemble spent time in Europe exploring different ways of living (it says here) and writing material influenced by that. That’s a hint at living rough sometimes, I would guess. A notion abhorrent to your scribe, ‘roughing it’ being a surefire way to unleash the inner Victor Meldrew. However all this has equipped the group to appear at the upcoming Cambridge Folk Festival so at least they’ll be heard by some open-minded music lovers given that the gathering isn’t for one type of music, rather a melting pot of global performers of all styles and all the better for it.

Folky song titles abound on this set – ‘The Howling Wind’, ‘Oh Rosa’, ‘A Beggar’s Land’, ‘Old Henry The Oak’…

First track ‘Time To Stand’ is a strident number with a great rolling feel that Radio 2 would love and some work has gone into the harmonies ; a Celtic breezy sound lifts ‘The Howling Wind’. The instrumentation takes in guitar, bass, banjo, fiddles but all in support of the vocal performances. They do sound a little earnest at times, but that seems to go with this style of music. One man’s sincere is another man’s po-faced. I like the fact they sound like a committed unit, can change tempo’s and emphasis at the drop of a snare beat and avoid sounding too close to the dog-on-a string ambience of the Levellers. Who could resist the ensemble singing on ‘I Am The Road’ ? Not this reviewer. ‘Dead In The Water’ sounds too like The Watersons’, too solemn by half. This band are best heard on the warm and well-paced ‘Fire On The Moon’, as good as any contemporary folkrock outfit.

Closer ‘Oh My Love’ has a plaintive female lead vocal against gentle insistent guitar and sounds utterly heartbroken, maybe not the greatest way to end a set ! Sprinkles of banjo and unhurried, this definitely weaves a mood in an early Fairport/Eclection way.

This music makes most sense and impact in a live setting, but what a great souvenir this cd would be after attending a show

Pete Sargeant

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