Salut! Reviews

The Waterboys' Steve Wickham: from legendary fiddling to dark French sisters of love

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Let me credit the CD's sleeve painting: Georgia Cox from Bath: visit her site

Steve Wickham: Beekeeper

After an utterly grim stream of news from home - from the London Bridge terrorist attack to the death of Vin Garbutt and now the appalling loss of life in the Grenfell Tower fire - it was as much a soothing relief as a joy to drive along the French Mediterranean coast and listen to Steve Wickham's album, Beekeeper.

This coastline knows its own trauma, of course. Nowhere is really safe from the threat of natural or unnatural disaster. Just for now, it feels peaceful and serene ahead of next month's invasion, one that transforms the population of my own little town from 6,000 to much more than 100,000.

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Geoff Lakeman: when folk rises above the dross of corporate pop

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Photo: Matt Austin

Geoff Lakeman entered my life 44 years ago. Newly moved down to London from the North East, I attended for the first time the excellent Herga folk club that John Heydon ran at the Royal Oak in Wealdstone.

At some stage once we became acquainted, I mentioned to Geoff that I was chief reporter of the local rag, the Harrow Observer, only for him to knock any misplaced pride out of me with his reply: "I'm in Fleet Street, at PA (the Press Association, the national news agency)."

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Cats on Trees, Sirens and une exception française


Every now and then,
I allow myself to stray from the tightly drawn waters of folk and folk offshoots and draw attention to something else that deserves a listen.

Since returning to France after London hibernation, I have found myself stopping to appreciate one song that keeps cropping up on the radio. Lots of changes in tempo, adorable female voice, great tune ... in short, a bloody good pop record.

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Cloé, Maya and the two sisters (Hilary James and Janet Giraudo): just saying this

Sisters


The car is a great vehicle
of parental indoctrination. Play your own music a few times without comment on long journeys and, soon, routine-loving children - if small enough - will ask for it again.

I remember my daughters wanting me to play a wonderful Box Fox and Stu Luckley album, Nowt So Good'll Pass, probably in cassette form, and especially liking (and getting the regional dialect) in A Begging I Will Go.

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Danny Thompson: well Connected, wholly convincing

Danny

Regular visitors to the little Salut! empire - and no, I don't just mean the one or two that come to this particular corner of it - know that the pages of all four sites are open to guest writers. Step forward Mike Dennison*, whose first contribution might have seemed more likely to be at Salut! Sunderland. Instead, noticing that no review of Danny Thompson's album Connected has appeared here, despite having been available for some months, he volunteered one of his own. Read on ...

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Ange Hardy: in praise of neglected folk

Salut! Live has a substantial archive that the sidebars allow you to explore but, when it comes to new material, the site necessarily falls victim to other demands on my time. Bourgeoise as this will sound, I need to earn a living. Labours of love are fine, but cannot always be allowed to get in the way of proper work. But a promise is a promise, and I said elsewhere that a review of Ange Hardy's album would appear this weekend ...


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