Review Archive

‘Cartography’ from Threepenny Bit - hot and sweaty strides to gentle and languid steps

(June 06, 2013)

However you decide to pronounce their name – Thrupenny or Three Penny the new album ‘Cartography’ from Threepenny Bit is a joyous, energised fusion of Irish, English, Cornish, Breton and CartographyScottish styles with a smattering of Eastern European klezmer music thrown in for good measure. One of the steadily decreasing number of ceilidh bands that still follow the busking road, these guys mix the instruments with as much unrestricted fervour as they do the tunes. This album ranges from shanties and reels that drag you from your chair through softly delivered waltzes for genteel dancing or reflection.

An eight-piece from Hampshire, Threepenny Bit are Josh Robson-Hemmings (guitar, mandolin) Hannah Grey (flute) Chris Nichols (violin, gazuki) Helen Gentile (clarinet) Guy Moore (percussion, guitar) Ruth Burrows (saxophone) Steve Troughton (accordion, trumpet) and Jason Beaumont (flue, bass, glockenspiel). And should you not consider that a mix to savour you’re just not paying attention.

Their arrangements are fresh and unrestricted. Their approach accomplished and natural. ‘Cartography’ perfectly presents the scope of their catalogue with standards like ‘Mason’s Apron’ and ‘Humours of Tullycrine’ through ripping takes on ‘The Convenience’ and ‘Spootiskerry Reel/ Brenda Stubberts’ while the quieter side of their repertoire is shown through ‘King of The Fairies’ and ‘Katie’s Waltz’.

This is dance music that slips easily from hot and sweaty strides to gentle and languid steps. Unless of course you’re like me. Because much as I like to dance, most of my dancing equates to nothing more than silly-leaping. However, if you love to indulge in a ‘step’ or two, or just like to listen as you tap your toes, you’ll love this.

‘Cartography’ is available on from Amazon and i-Tunes.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

Click here to return to the Review Archive page