Published on May 1st, 2018 | by Mike Ainscoe0
Will Pound: Through The Seasons – album review
‘THROUGH THE SEASONS’
A Year In Morris And Folk Dance
Funded by the Arts Council England, here’s a musical almanac of morris and folk dancing. Not something you see every day.
And then you get The Guardian reporting on a morris dance revival. The number of morris teams apparently on the up with crowds at May Day festivities rising to the highs not seen in decades. Perhaps the time is ripe and Will Pound has spotted a window in the market. Hardly though. Like the banjo, folk dance could easily be the subject of mystery and the source fo great amusement to many, yet for Will Pound and the likes of Bellowhead’s John Spiers, it’s very much his heritage.
I took great delight not so long ago in declaring Will as ‘the Eddie Van Halen of harmonica’. Now I have to go and find something to say about his melodeon playing as he picks up another instrument to dazzle us on top of his signature harps.
He’s joined on this folk dance travelogue by Benji Kirkpatrick and Ross Grant, with additional contributions from the likes of Eliza Carthy, Patsy Reid and John Kirkpatrick as he brings the folk dance year to life. And for any morris cynics, it’s a surprisingly lively and jaunty collection. Of course the aficionados will already know that, but as we weave literally through the seasons and up and down the country whilst browsing the notes in the CD booklet, an appreciation of the craft starts to become clear.
Within a few moments of the Cotswold romp of ‘Getting Upstairs’/’Rodney’ there’s a light and uplifting feel and in times of political and social unreast and unease, you can see why people are turning to the morris tradition as a therapy and antidote to more depressing times. Although it sounds like a skit straight from the pages of Viz Comic, GPs take note – why not prescribe a Will Pound Morris CD for the price a regular NHS prescription. Certainly an alternative medicine
With music from the Cotswolds dominating early proceedings including a breathless Eliza Carthy vocal on The Nutting Girl (although let’s assume she’s not singing, fiddling and dancing at the same time) we shift north to hear what the Blackburn Aces and Leyland Legionnaires danced to before Monty Python took a hold of ‘The Liberty Bell March’.
Into the Borders, ‘Fanny Frail’s stick dance origins stand out in the percussive use of the banjo as the journey continues with hornpipes and sword dances. Altogether, ‘Through The Season’ emerges as an educational experience was well as what Phil Daniels would call an enormous sense of well being whilst being a perfect example of how do you know if you’ve never tried it?
Watch the video for ‘Glue’ here:
‘Through The Season’ is released on 4th May
And there’s an accompanying tour which you can find details of at