‘From Here’ - Stick In The Wheel - ‘full-fat folk dished out in double-strength doses’(August 19, 2015)
Folk without a safety net, rough as it comes and brimming with life. Not a fine filter in sight, then thinking about it, not a coarse filter either. This is folk music from Stick In The Wheel, music that reaches out and grips its audience by the throat, screams for your attention without apology or any intention to mince its words … and that’s what makes it utterly refreshing and wholly engaging.
Their debut album ‘From Here’ serves up exactly what their fans have come to expect ‘full-fat folk dished out in double-strength doses’. And you’re going to love it.
This album mixes the messages with its immersion in folk roots combined with idiosyncratic interpretation. Profiting from the incredible force of Nicola Kearey’s acerbic vocals punching their lyrical bite into ‘Champion’ and the harsh realisation of ‘Common Ground’, reflecting the urge to run away with ‘Seven Gypsies’, before a raw take on ‘The Blacksmith’. There’s a frank honesty to this music, its simplicity, its authenticity and its presence, from the empathetic ‘Hard Times’ and ‘Bows of London’ to relentless ‘Bedlam’. Stick In The Wheel have arrived with relentless energy and an obvious refusal to compromise, and along the way created a longed-for storm in folk that’s been a long time coming.
Stick In The Wheel are on tour right now (September/ October dates here) so if you get a chance then take yourself to one of their dates and get ready to hear folk as it once was and with luck will be again. Tender when desired, aggressive when demanded and uncompromising throughout.
Find Stick In The Wheel here: www.stickinthewheel.com
Review: Tim Carroll