‘I Crossed The Sea’ - an EP of note from Storywheel(August 12, 2015)
A little bit of enlightenment for the uninitiated – there’s a stringed instrument called the ‘oud’, that traces into Europe from Muslim Spain, similar to the lute (Arabic al’ud) it dates back around 5,000 years, and many consider a direct line ancestor of the guitar. Although an ancient instrument, while on the subject of the oud, to hear it played (along with other instruments) in a modern folk context you could do little better than listen to Patricia de Mayo and Keith Clouston aka Storywheel. Their EP, ‘I Crossed The Sea’.
With only three songs to savour and one instrumental, ‘I Crossed The Sea’ has a strange otherworldly feel that evokes echoes of time gone by. Imbued with North African and Middle Eastern influences the amalgamation with the folk essences of the British Isles it creates a wholly distinctive and bewitching sound. The enchantment begins with the pulsing rhythm of its eponymous opener ‘I Crossed The Sea’, moves to the sultry tones and haunting vocals of ‘The Welcome Sailor’, the musically mesmerising traumatic narrative of ‘The Ballad Of Lampedusa’ and finally the absorbing instrumental ‘Nomad (Birds Of Passage’).
Playing on the EP are Patricia de Mayo (vocals, oud, electric bass) Keith Clouston (vocals, oud, lap steel, ukulele) and Gerry Diver (fiddle, synths, low whistle, hammer dulcimer). As my long-time friend and founder of this site, Tim Carroll is given to say: “If an EP leaves you wanting more then it’s done its job.” This one passes that test with flying colours.
Review Charlie Elland