FOLKLAW – The Tales That They Tell (Own Label)

After releasing his debut album, Nation’s Pride, under the name Folklaw, Nick Gibbs has now put together a full band to go with that name and progress to a second CD. The line-up comprises guitarists Bryn Williams and Lyndon Webb with Gaz Hunt and, on loan from ColvinQuarmby, Marty Fitzgibbon on backing vocals and percussion. Their sound is light enough for small venues with Gibbs’ fiddle and Webb’s mandolin providing lead lines but also robust enough for festival gigs.

All bar one of the songs are by Nick and most address social concerns, sometimes on a grand scale like ‘Bethlehem’ which considers the Israel-Palestine conflict particularly in times of the fragile ‘peace’ which is the usual state of affairs. ‘Hope And Glory’ is an apology for the years of slavery and other songs consider the flooding caused by ill-planned building and the loss of horse chestnut trees to a virus which, as with sudden oak death and ash die back, we seem powerless to defeat.

As a songwriter Nick wears his heart on his sleeve and his more personal songs like ‘Gypsy Rain’ and ‘Seeds Of Freedom’ stand out from the crowd. If he has a fault, it is that occasionally he overwrites a song – you can almost see him squeezing one more thought into a lyric when perhaps its omission would improve its flow. It’s a minor point, however, and doesn’t detract from a fine album.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: www.folklaw.co.uk

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ColvinQuarmby CQV is reviewed by the folkmaster…

The new ColvinQuarmby album has now descended from CQ towers, and is heralding in, by a fab twelve page booklet containing of all Gerry Colvin  lyrics which are wrapped, in bright shiny, cherub packaging (beam me up Scotty).

In our opinion, we believe that CQV can sit proudly alongside the body of work that ColvinQuarmby have produced to date. This recording is enhanced by Allen Maslen and Marion Fleetwood involvement, both of which have made a noticeable contribution to the new line-up, joining the Nick Quarmby, Gerry Colvin and Martin Fitzgibbon fold (baa…)

CQV is their first album in 8 years and although the word play is as razor-sharp as ever, they have still have a little way to go to recreate, the CQ live experience on record but in truth, perhaps they never will as, seeing CQ in the flesh, with all the banter, is seeing the true measure of the band.

As you would expect from CQ, the tracks on CQV are a right old of mix of material, focusing on the political, social and relationship story songs that are Colvin’s trade mark. My personal favourites were: Broken man, The Gods Don’t Work, Dirt, South London Gang and the live favourite, Dylan Thomas’ Pen.

So in short, Gerry Colvin  has, once again written some brilliant new songs, which the band recorded at Blue Moon Studios in Banbury Oxfordshire where just about anybody who used to be, and in some cases still is, somebody, in the world of folk music have recorded. These include Fairport Convention, Kieran Halpin, Maddy Prior, Ade Edmonson and The Bad Shepards, Julie Felix to name a few. We understand that, CQV has taken a total of 220 studio hours and over two years from the start of recording to complete. Darren Beech

Here’s what Blue Moons owner/engineer Mark Lee had to say about his involvement with CQV

“Cq are without doubt one of my favourite bands to record. With such great songs and arrangements, fantastic singing and great playing it was always a real pleasure for me to press the record “GO” button. I truly wish the band every deserved success with what I consider to be a great album. An absolutely brilliant band. A world-class act in my opinion”