The Harbour Of Songs Project is reviewed by Pete Fyfe…

“Harbour Of Songs” is a project…excuse the pun…helmed by Adrian McNally and funded by The Stables Arts Centre near Milton Keynes providing an interesting background coupled with a selection of ‘folk-styled’ music artists as diverse as Ralph McTell, Janis Ian and Guy Chambers. I won’t go into much detail here (you’ll have to buy the CD to find out more) but the basic concept comes from donated pieces of wood to help build a boat and songs loosely based on the stories of those donations. This may not at first sound the most riveting of reasons to purchase a copy of the album but the attention to detail and judicious use of arrangements and instrumentation harking back to the glory days of Clifford T Ward and Peter Skellern really evokes a sense of nostalgia that musically I’m pleased to see is currently on an upward ‘trend’. As a frequent visitor to the seaside town of Hastings I feel a particular affinity to Nick Hemming’s “White Fish Authority” and for other reasons…too painful to go into detail here…with Nick Hornby’s “The Ruler” which prove vivid reminders of a bygone era – mind you, if plimsolls need to be donated for a similar project please let me know. I must admit that listening to this recording was a pleasure and if, like me, you hanker for a bit of wistful reminiscing you’ll be hard pushed to find a more evocative representation on what is, after all, some pretty obscure subject matter.

PETE FYFE

Catalog number: The Stables STABLESCD001

Artist’s website: www.stables.org


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