Kimber’s Men are something a little extra special…a shanty crew that everyone can enjoy! Consisting Joe Stead, Neil Kimber, Dave Buckley, Gareth Scott and John Bromley the ‘Men’ all have fine voices each as good as each other and then there’s that resonant bass ringing masterfully at the end of “Fire Marengo”. Captured live in concert by Tony Bottomley this handsomely packaged double album is a true testament highlighting how powerful good shanty singing can be…full of passion but with plenty of warmth. The sailor’s life is not always a happy one and of course the tragedies and tribulations, conveyed in the lyrics of Bill Meek’s “Harry Eddom” and Neil & Roz Kimber’s “Don’t Take The Heroes” show that this particular style of song will echo through the ages unlike the pap that purports to be popular music nowadays. Now, I don’t quite know what it is but the performance of “God Moves On The Water” led brilliantly by Gareth Scott brings to mind how Martin Simpson might sound with a shanty crew and trust me…that’s a compliment. On a more optimistic note, Joe Stead & Pete Seeger’s poignant “Darkest Before The Dawn” is the kind of ballad that encapsulates the thoughts of sailors and better days to come whilst familiar rousing choruses including “Blow Boys Blow” and “Leave Her Johnny Leave Her” coupled with strong contemporary story-telling this is an album that more fully satisfies than most in a year that has seen the passing of Johnny Collins (another great shanty singer) and couldn’t have come at a better time. If you do purchase the album (and I sincerely hope you will!) at the very reasonable cost of £15.00 that includes a donation to the RNLI don’t be confused by the unconventional track listing on the back sleeve. It’s just there so that you can skip the introductions if you want to. Glorious stuff!
Artist Web Link: http://www.kimbersmen.com/