FolkWords Reviews

‘In The Park’ from Pennyless - memorable tunes, warm vocals, and hooks a-plenty

(May 30, 2016)

How long does a good band remain under your radar? Perhaps it’s a reflection on the number of hard working bands that now grace the wide and expansive fields of folk. Whatever the case, the new album ‘In The Park’ from Pennyless has just come my way and I’m thoroughly glad that it did.

Pennyless album coverLeaning more towards the softer side of folk rock edging towards psych-folk, the album is instantly intriguing, with a combination of memorable tunes, warm vocals, and hooks a-plenty. Hailing from South Lincolnshire their sound couldn’t be anything but English folk rock, blending myth, legend and history with social observation and commentary. The heart of their music is the classic narrative folk song propelled by a fiery fiddle, driving electric and bass guitars, and drums interlaced with a fascinating weave created by a miasma of bouzouki, bowed psaltery, mandolin, glockenspiel, melodica, soprano saxophone and birdsong.

The opening pulse of ‘Merrie Dance’ pretty much sets the scene for what to expect, before the gently expressive ‘In The Park’ arrives along with the ethereal, medieval-tinged instrumental ‘Kinloss’. The haunting and somewhat disturbing ‘Dances with Annabel’ is followed by the fey imagery of ‘Fairy Caravan’ with the faintly ominous ‘The Gathering’ and the epic mythic ‘Grendel’. ‘In The Park’ is in many ways classic English folk rock, it’s also a rather good album that you will certainly enjoy.

Pennyless are Les Woods (vocals, acoustic, electric and bass guitars, mandolin, bodhran, glockenspiel) Penny Stevens (vocals, violin, bowed psaltery, recorder) Colin Benton (Bass guitar, bouzouki) Graham Dale (vocals, flute, melodica, piano, keyboard, djembe, cajon, soprano saxophone) Tom Savage (drums) and Jo Hitchin (cello).

Find the band and their music here: pennyless-music.co.uk

Review: Tim Carroll

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