THE HUT PEOPLE – Picnic (Fellside Recordings FECD248)

So, here it is a welcome return to my favourite drum and squeezebox duo. Mind you, to my knowledge I don’t think there are any others I’ve missed? Starting with a sprightly “Shoes In Black” (good choice of tune lads) with its loaded syncopation and spot-on triplets played at a speed that’s just right to learn from and then into a waltz version of the melody is an utter joy. And that as they say is just for starters. If you haven’t yet heard Sam Pirt & Gary Hammond then I suggest you do so…Now! Here we have two guys who know how to convey all that is good about ‘folk’ music with a cacophony of sound so wonderful it’ll enthuse you all to dance from the rooftops like escapee chimney sweeps from a Disney movie…Gawd bless you it will. Of course the choice of tunes is not all up-tempo and the selective option of any number of Gary’s arsenal of percussion at his disposal adds a descriptive colour wash to the palate of jigs, reels, slow airs and bourree’s that blossom forth from the digital dexterity of Sam’s fingertips. I’ve been reviewing some truly incredible albums by folk artists recently but none that bring an automatic beaming smile and sense of joy as this recording. Unlike the title would suggest, this is not so much a ‘picnic’ as a full blown banquet. Paul Adams at Fellside has (for me at least) once again made a major discovery and as soon as we can point them in the right direction the great British public should be made aware of this personable duo. Come on Jools (or at least your producers)…the gauntlet has been thrown down. I urge everyone out there to purchase a copy of the CD and then insist that your local folk club or festival book them…they really are that good!


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