Dai Jeffries reviews GALLEY BEGGAR’s latest release…

There have been major line-up changes since Galley Beggar released their debut album, Reformation House, a couple of years ago. Gone are lead vocalist Frances Tye, violinist Prasanthi Matharu and pianist and bassist Paul Murphy.

The intent remains the same. There’s still an attachment to the classic folk-rock of the seventies but without Frances’ recorders there is less nu-folk and a harder edge thanks, in part, to Maria O’Donnell’s vocals. The material is split between traditional and original material although sometimes it’s hard to say which is which. ‘Daverne Lamb’ written by Paul Dadswell and David Ellis could easily be traditional both in delivery and content although the final two songs, ‘Hymn To Pan’ and ‘Birds & Fish’ hark back to their earlier style. The opener, ‘Willow Tree’, is in the Spriguns/Steeleye Span vein with ringing mandolin, fiddle, electric guitar and drums that say 1975 over and over again and ‘Nottamun Town’ has that wonderful drone effect that both Fairport and Pentangle used to achieve.

I’m heartened that Galley Beggar has an audience for what some would consider an old-fashioned take on the music. They are tight and dynamic and there isn’t a folk festival in the country that wouldn’t benefit from having them on the bill. Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: https://www.facebook.com/galleybeggarmusic/

folkmaster – Here is a track from their first album as I can’t lay may hands on any material from the new album:

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