FolkWords Reviews

‘Self-titled debut EP’ - The Trials of Cato - perhaps an album lurks in the wings

(March 08, 2017)

It’s not often a British traditional folk band begins life in Beirut but I guess stranger things have happened. The Trials of Cato Trials of Catowere formed in Beirut, Lebanon in the summer of 2015, and after performing on the Lebanese music scene, the trio returned to the UK in the autumn of 2016 ... and now they’ve released their self-titled debut EP, ‘The Trials of Cato’.

References to Roman senators and historians aside, their music has ‘traditional’ stamped all over it but dig a little deeper and there’s some interesting influences at work. There are only four tracks by which to judge the EP, which is unfortunate because what you hear is rather good ... perhaps an album lurks in the wings. There are songs in English and Welsh with instrumentation taking inspiration from both Ireland and Britain ... the stirring travelling-tale ‘Matthew VanDyke’ the bucolic history of discussion between fox and goose in ‘Reynard and the Goose’, the soldierly story of ‘Fighting Jack’ and a Welsh language song coupled to an instrumental ‘Aberdon/ The Shaskeen Jig’.

In summary ... the musicianship is substantial, the vocals engaging ... and the overall impression, with a little more track-time an album from The Trials of Cato could be worth the wait.

The Trials of Cato are Robin Jones (mandolin, vocals) Will Addison (Irish bouzouki, vocals) and Tomos Williams (guitar, vocals).

Website: thetrialsofcato.com

Review: Tim Carroll

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