Video Wall 12

Welcome to our final Video Wall of the year which also affords us a peek into 2020. With that in mind we begin with SAM LEE and ‘The Garden Of England’ which is from his new album Old Wow, released next month.

Another track from an album on 2020’s releases schedules.  Here’s ‘Botany Bay’ by ANTOINE & OWENA from their album Something Out Of Nothing which is due for release in March.

We won’t apologise if you’ve seen this before because anything by BEANS ON TOAST is worth watching at least three times. This is ‘On And On’.

FERRIS & SYLVESTER wind up their year with a single, ‘I Dare You’. If you’re lucky enough to live in mainland Europe you can catch them on tour in the spring.

Toronto duo The Cassidys recently released their debut album, Tula. This is the second single to be taken from it, ‘Cannonball’.

JOE ASTLEY released this single a couple of weeks ago. It’s called ‘Revolution Postponed’ which is horribly true.

We’ve searched high and low for a video from ROBB JOHNSON‘s brilliant new album, Eurotopia, which we will be reviewing in the new year but he’s playing his cards close to his chest at the moment. In the meantime, here’s a song he’s recently uploaded, ‘The Playing Fields Of Eton’.

‘Could Have Been You’ is a single from the EP Hear My Voice by PIERS FACCINI.

Finally something for Christmas. ‘Cry Back Moon’ has just been released to subscribers only by TALITHA RISE so please don’t tell anyone that we’ve posted it or we’ll all be in terrible trouble.

ANTOINE & OWENA – Hands, Hearts & Hangings (own label)

Hands, Hearts & HangingsWe receive a lot of unsolicited albums, often debuts from new artists. Some we may gloss over; others we play more than once. So it is with Hands, Hearts & Hangings, the first album from Wiltshire duo Antoine Architeuthis and Owena Archer. Both are experienced musicians and are beginning to make their mark, having supported Reg Meuross and Eliza and Martin Carthy. You don’t get to do that unless you’re pretty good.

Their repertoire mixes original and traditional material and perversely I prefer the former. Not that there is anything wrong with their traditional songs except that they are terribly well known and tend to be up-tempo crowd pleasers. That said, there are verses in their version of ‘My Son John’ that I haven’t heard before. If they delved into the old texts a little deeper they would have it nailed. But…they write the sort of songs that nobody writes anymore, conjuring up situations and stories the way Bob Pegg and Mandy Morton used to.

Take the first track, ‘The Peddler And The Witch’. We’re immediately in some unspecified past time and witnessing an encounter on the road that moves from commercial to threatening. Then there’s a twist – you might expect that – but there is a second twist to follow that. Brilliant. ‘The Ballad Of John Olden’ is a song of the Luddites but ‘The Palmer’s Kiss’ takes us back to the unspecified past time of that first song. Is it just about sex or is their something mystical involved? As ‘Summer Longing’ began I settled down for a sweet pastoral song but it turns out there is something odd and twisted about it. The final track, ‘Luna’, begins in a similar fashion but by the closing chant it, too, has changed.

Musically, Antoine and Owena don’t over-complicate things. He plays bouzouki and guitar and she plays violin and there is bodhran from Anf Abbott but if you hear them live this is pretty much what you’ll get and that’s good enough for me.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: www.antoineandowena.co.uk

‘The Ballad Of John Olden’ – live: