The Salts are on the road again

The Salts

Rockin’ Sea Shanty band The Salts set sail on a UK tour of Venues and Festivals starting this week at the Wokingham Music Festival and including the Great British Folk Festival where they will be performing alongside the likes of Steeleye Span, Eddie Reader, Barbara Dickson, Tom Robinson and many more, as well as the Bude, Banbury & Sedgefield Folk Festival where they will be headlining and with live shows in Theatres and Arts Centres covering most parts of the England from Cornwall to Yorkshire.

The Salts have been described as one of the most exciting and energetic concepts around performing original material alongside their own interpretations of traditional songs we all know and love and their live shows are guaranteed to get the audience clapping and singing along. The band feature five seasoned musicians collectively performing a mixture of instruments as well as great harmonies and their latest album Brave on Braccan Records has received rave reviews and radio plays around the world.

The group seems like it is really enjoying the process of revitalising this often forgotten aspect of folk music, and the performances are suitably impassioned and rousing.

Brave is a fine undaunted second album and should do The Salts’ cause the world of good. – Living Tradition

Artists’ website: https://www.thesalts.co.uk

‘Brave’ – official video:

Fifteen Men UK Tour

Sunday 25th Aug – Wokingham Festival, Berkshire
Monday26th Aug– The Plough, Coldharbour, Surrey
Saturday 7th Sept – Sedgefield folk Festival, County Durham
Saturday 14th Sept – Hogsback Brewery, Farnham, Surrey
Saturday 28th Sept- Walton Firs Charity Concert, Chobham, Surrey
Saturday 12th Oct – Banbury Folk Festival , Oxfordshire
Saturday 19th Oct – Swindon Arts Centre, Wiltshire
Thursday 14th Nov – Strode Theatre, Street, Somerset
Friday 15th Nov – Bude Folk, Roots & World Music Festival, Cornwall
Sunday 24th Nov – Herring Festival, Hastings, East Sussex
Friday 29th Nov – Great British Folk Festival, Skegness, Lincolnshire
Saturday 30th Nov – Evron Centre, Filey, North Yorkshire

The Salts announce live dates

The Salts
Photograph by Gary Cameron

The Salts had a great 2018 with the release of their 2nd album Brave which received rave reviews across the board as well as radio plays around the world and venue and festival appearances throughout the UK and 2019 looks to be set fair for this great rockin’ Sea Shanty band.

The Salts who are one of the most exciting and energetic concepts around performing original material alongside their own interpretations of traditional songs we all know and love. Their live shows have been going down a storm throughout the UK at festivals and venues alike, recent performances include the Great British Folk Festival, Folk in a Weyfest, Field Festival, Tall Ships Festival Greenwich, The Pirate Festival Brixham, Wilton’s Music Hall, Crawley Folk Festival and many more. The band feature five seasoned musicians collectively performing a mixture of instruments as well as great harmonies and are guaranteed to get the crowd singing and dancing along. Their latest album Brave is out now on Braccan Records.

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Artists’ website: https://www.thesalts.co.uk

‘Brave’ – official video:

Live Shows 2019

30th March – Fisher Theatre, Bungay, Suffolk

26th May – Bandstand , Godalming, Surrey

29th May – Wilton’s, London

14th June – The Old Court, Windsor, Berkshire

5th July – Chapel Arts Centre, Bath, Somerset

6th July – Trew Fields Festival, Surrey

25th July – Olympic Live Sessions, Barnes, London

25th August – Wokingham Festival, Berkshire

7th September – Sedgefield Folk Festival, Northumberland

28th September – Dame School , Chobham, Surrey

15th November – Bude Folk Festival, Cornwall

24th November – Hastings Herring Festival, East Sussex

29th November – Great British Folk Festival, Lincolnshire

30th November – Evron Centre, Filey, North Yorkshire

“unafraid to blend, develop and move folk forward while still retaining an abiding and healthy respect for tradition. And sometimes along the way taking the tradition to places it never thought to go. And that’s a prime-mover in the music of The Salts and their album ‘Brave’ … freedom and fearlessness to invent.” – Folk Words

“I cannot recommend this album strongly enough. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen these guys play many times, and was an admirer of their first album She Rises. This new record does exactly what it needs to do for the band – it steps them up again both musically and in the quality of the production – plus it crucially captures the raw power and enthusiasm that make The Salts so endearing. I hope this album serves them well” – Artree

 

THE SALTS – Brave (Braccan Records BRCD9001)

BraveThe Salts perform shanties but not quite in the way you might expect. They are five seasoned musicians with a remarkable list of credits to their names from Pete Best via Thunderclap Newman to Ben E King. Now based in the leafy suburbs of Surrey and Berkshire, Brave is their second album. All five sing and harmonise naturally but that’s not how they perform – essentially they are an amplified acoustic band with a drummer but there is even more to them.

The first three tracks are arguably Caribbean in origin – the one I hadn’t heard before, ‘Running Down To Cuba’ certainly is – and The Salts give them a tropical feel. They don’t actually play reggae, or even a pastiche of reggae, but they give the songs a real lilt. Purists may not like it but they throw in a middle eight here and there and ‘Cuba’ has a distinctly Latin break as Lee Collinson’s banjo combines with Richard Nash’s percussion for a shanty you can dance to.

‘Drunken Sailor’ is the track I wasn’t looking forward to, it really is so hackneyed. The Salts find the darkness in it beginning with just the drums before Jeremy Hart’s guitar comes in and the instrumental break is as heavy as you could wish. It’s a real crowd-pleaser. They do the same with RL Stevenson’s ‘Fifteen Men’ which is a really nasty lyric detailing a number of gory deaths. Even here they employ a string quartet as they do on the title track, the only original song in the set, written by Jeremy.

They give a nod to the American origins of ‘Johnny Come Down To Hilo’ with the banjo on top and Brian Doran’s mandolin joining it. Of course, you can’t sing it the way it was collected these days and it can be argued that once you take a shanty out of its context it has lost its purpose anyway. The Salts’ approach is a valid as that of the massed choirs who sweeten shanties for mass consumption – actually, more so. Which brings us to the final track. ’10,000 Miles’ is a song of transportation on a “government ship”, with the twist that the man is left behind while his lover is transported – a little bit of hstory. Nowadays it’s the softer, more reflective version that is heard most often but The Salts use its capstan or forebitter rhythm to bring their album to a stomping conclusion.

I’m fairly local to The Salts and I’ll see them live soon but they will be performing at the Great British Folk Festival next month and you would be well advised to take a listen. You’ll probably buy this album from them.

Dai Jeffries

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Artists’ website: https://www.thesalts.co.uk/

‘Bulgine Run’ – official video: