ME & FRED – Sweet Anticipation (own label)

Sweet AnticipationMe & Fred are a singer/songwriting duo from Cumbria comprising Me (Robin May) and Fred (Fredrika Buchanan). Sweet Anticipation is their debut album and is remarkably polished given that it was recorded in their front room. They supply six songs each – Fred’s being more relationship-based while Robin perhaps tends to view life more philosophically. I’m sorry if that sounds like a horrible cliché but that is the way they come over.

The opener, ‘Sweet Anticipation’, immediately took me back to my teenage years when the only way to get anywhere was by bus and it always took too long. Robin, being an adult, has to shell out for dinner and go through that entire ritual, but the objective is pretty much the same. I really like this song. ‘Blame Is So Absurd’ is even better, and if you have ever had a bad time with your other half it will strike a chord. Accompaniments are mostly confined to Robin’s acoustic guitar – sometimes double-tracked – but here he also picks up an electric and lays down a really nice solo. I should mention that three tracks are augmented by Dawn Foster’s violin, Colin Salter’s bass and Philtro on drums, giving Robin another excuse to go electric. ‘Gimme A Reason’ is dangerously close to rock.

Fred and Robin both have strong voices and it’s a real pleasure to hear a woman who can put some power into her vocals while retaining the ability to hold back for the gentler moments. ‘Sunset’ and ‘There’ are my favourites among her songs, the former being a beautifully constructed piece about, well, being faithful, I suppose. Actually, ‘The Way’ is pretty good, too. It’s fair to say, judging by Robin’s grey hair, that Me & Fred are a little way past the first flush of youth and some life experience has gone into Sweet Anticipation.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website:

‘Sweet Anticipation’ – live in the studio: