MARION FLEETWOOD – Holding Space (own label)

MARION FLEETWOOD – Holding SpaceFirst off, I owe Marion a sincere apology. She sent me a link for her album ages ago when I was away from home and there it languished, lost and forgotten on a hard drive until I heard her singing with TradArrr barely a week ago. Ashamed or what?

So, belatedly, here is Marion’s debut solo album, overcrowdfunded in less than a month and recorded entirely solo. She opens with ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’ which might be considered a brave move but, without messing it about, she adds just enough subtle variations to refresh the song. She follows that with one of her own songs, ‘Linden Tree’, which is apparently about sex and is the simplest arrangement on the album, just voice and two guitars. In complete contrast is the instrumental ‘Lament For The Funeral Of George V’ which is made up of overlayered string parts – “about sixteen” she tells us in her sleeve notes.

The album mixes more original compositions and traditional titles. ’The Rose And The Lily’ is a classic ballad as are Marion’s version of ‘Silver Dagger’ and the gospel classic ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’. ‘Try To Imagine’ and ‘The Curve Of My Back’ are both by Marion while ‘Broken Things’ is what she calls a “classic cover”.

Holding Space enables Marion to show off her talents to their best advantage. She’s a fine multi-instrumentalist and a vocalist capable of great passion. As a take-home message I’d like to quote a few lines from her sleeve notes: “Folk is a great place to be a woman. We have fabulous role models, we aren’t judged on our age, size or clothing. It doesn’t matter if we don’t sing and dance at the same time. We don’t behave like divas. Our riders tend to involve sandwiches, beer and cake. Our colleagues and musical partners treat us with professionalism, care and respect. We are allowed to be.” That says it all really.

Dai Jeffries

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