Review Archive

'Now We Are Six Again' - Steeleye Span

(December 04, 2011)

Who said you can’t re-live your youth? Well, I certainly have by going back to 1974. Was it really that long ago that Steeleye first released ‘Now We Are Six’ having been rather unceremoniouslySteeleye - Six Again roughed up by the ‘folk’ police in the process. So now we have ‘Now We Are Six Again’ (Park Records PRKCD113)

After all who would have the tenacity (or temerity) to tamper with the tradition by making it more palatable to the general public? By now, Nigel Pegrum was utilising his skills as drummer, flautist and oboe player and, it has to be said that this colourful injection to the band made the album all the more interesting. To the present day and new-ish members Pete Zorn (acoustic guitar, mandolin, sax and flute) and Julian Littman (electric guitars) prove themselves more than capable musicians to carry the baton.

In my eyes it was rather a bold step re-creating the album in its entirety but who could forgive the rest of the cast; Maddy Prior (vocals), Liam Genockey (drums), Rick Kemp (bass) and Peter Knight’s exquisite violin for once again expounding those riff-sodden days. No problem at all I should imagine as the ‘hits’ including ‘Thomas The Rhymer’, ‘The Mooncoin Jig’ and the delightfully idiosyncratic ‘Two Magicians’ are respectfully recreated and considering this is a ‘live’ recording shows just how good the band are (and were). Co-ordinated by Park Records manager John Dagnell I should think he had his work cut out knowing which tracks to leave off the second disk but with an eye to commerciality…and Christmas round the corner…what Steeleye album would be complete without the customary ‘All Around My Hat’ and ‘Gaudette’.

In all my years reviewing the band’s work there’s hardly been a contrary word said against them…and I’m not about to start now. If this album is your first introduction to the band’s music then welcome on board – if it’s not then you know what to expect - or you should do by now!

Reviewer: Pete Fyfe

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