MILTON HIDE – Little Fish (Howdy Records HOWDY 3)

Little FishEastbourne husband and wife duo Jim Tipler and Josie Tipler began their musical lives busking in the town centre, he on piano accordion, she on clarinet. Marriage and family, ruled her out of the equation for some years until, the kids having left home, the acoustic duo reformed, taking their name from some local woodland, and starting doing the folk club circuit, reworking material Jim had written for his previous bands and Josie penning her own lyrics to his new tunes.

Now, produced by one of their sons, they’ve embarked on a six-track debut EP, kicking off with ‘Home Is Where Your Heart Is’, a lively strum that, written as a wedding gift, has its sentiments succinctly summed up in the title and comes with a guitar line reminiscent of the twang from ‘Ring Of Fire’. They ring the musical changes over the collection, ‘Monkyn Pyn’ very much in the style of a traditional English folk ballad about murderous travellers and fair maids while ‘Better Off Dead’, an anti-austerity ditty, heads into banjo and percussive thump accompanied jug band territory. On a connected theme, ‘Perfect Place To Hang’ is a hushed and intimately sung, gypsy violin adorned melancholic ballad about life being a bit miserable that could well be seen as a commentary on life post-Brexit.

Piano makes an appearance on the barroom slow waltzer as the pair share her and him verses for ‘Love Is A Bitch (Then You Die)’, another song summed up by its heart-bruised title, before rounding everything off with the piscine-themed title track, fingerpicked and occidental-tinted song bookended by tranquil birdsong, sung by Jill and inspired by Kodomo no Hi, a Japanese Children’s Day involving the flying of carp kites, parents wishing for their kids to grow up the determination of the fish. I don’t know if the couple gig much out of East Sussex, but this should help spread the name.

Mike Davies

Artist’s website:

‘Home Is Where Your Heart Is’ – official video:

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