By hook or by crook here is a CD just waiting to be reviewed. The Bad Shepherds consist of Adrian Edmondson, Troy Donockley, Maartin Allcock and Andy Dinan with additional percussion from Mark Woolley (no jokes please) who obviously just want to have a good time along with their audience and in the process create a bit of acoustic anarchy. And what better way than to open proceedings than with the anthem “I Fought The Law”. The sleeve notes state that Edmondson performs ‘thrash’ mandolin and who would we be to criticise his judgement when that’s exactly what he does. Of course, the clever stuff is left to Donockley, Allcock and Dinan that shines through in the band’s sparkling arrangements where, take for instance, the change gearing up the rhythm half-way through the Jam’s “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight” works brilliantly. Surprisingly (for this reviewer anyway) Ade maintains a serious edge to his vocal prowess without outlandishly over emphasising the lyrics by forcing them punk-like from rasping tonsils and for those of a ‘folk’ persuasion that might be frightened off by the mere thought of a badly judged performance just sit back and enjoy. By the way, check out Troy’s plaintive Uillean Pipes on “The Model”…it certainly beats the original arrangement. Now, before I fence myself in by saying how much I enjoyed this album let’s start counting down together…
Artist website: www.thebadshepherds.com
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