The last part of Salut! Live's interview with Sharon Shannon- conducted eight years ago -was necessarily brief. See the main interview and the reason for republishing it here.
We were almost at the of our conversation. Others were waiting to speak to her. But it didn't matter since all that remained for our purposes was to pepper her with one-line questions and prompts and collect her one-line replies. Sharon has always been, in public, a woman of relatively few words (that immense, beaming smile more than making up for the vocal reticence), and that suits the tradition Salut! Live quickfire questionnaire. Here is how it went, plus a review of theSaints and Scoundrelsalbum ...
Please forgive Salut! Live for yet another dip into the past. I am working on a new article in which Sharon Shannon features prominently so it seems a good moment to begin by reintroducing readers to a giant of traditional music. Shannon is a woman whose technical authority is matched, surpassed even, by her extraordinary inventiveness and thirst for experiment, but who remains steadfast in regarding Irish music as always the essence of her art. I can think of few figure in music who, when their various contributions are totted up, have given more pleasure. I will add a clip, from about the same period of this interview that show what she brings out of others ...
The album may be bought at the Salut! Live Amazon link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B018TI0UHM/salusund-21
On Leon Rosselson’s most recent album, Where Are The Barricades?, we encounter a cluster of usual suspects, old, older and new: rotten bankers, corporate raiders, uncaring politicians, plundering national heroes (take a bow, Sir Francis Drake) and an Israeli policy towards Gaza that is not the Holocaust but brings shame and disgrace on the descendants of those who suffered in it.
And we also meet Karl Marx, Cockney equivalents of Ken Loach’s Daniel Blake and people who struggle and not always with success to stay alive, most poignantly two children killed by brutes in different uniforms, one in Nazi-occupied Vilnius, the other in Palestine.
But this is not only Rosselson's latest album, full of the clever, challenging wordplay that for many years allowed me to write approvingly of his work for, of all papers, The Daily Telegraph. It is also his last. At 82, he no longer has the energy or, in the face of new technology, will to record any more.
I am delighted to present this interview, conducted by e-mail, with an English master of political song (his own website is at http://www.leonrosselson.co.uk/index.php) ...
NB: A technical problem has caused me to re-post this article at at this link and it seems sensible to delete this version to avoid duplication ...
There are two pieces of good news, in my little campaign to bring the French duo Cats on Treses to wider attention:
* My old acquaintance Eddie Barcan, manager of the Cambridge folk festival and once a fellow-judge of the BBC Young Folk Awards (we chose Tim Van Eyken) promises to
"have a proper listen" when he starts programming next year's event around December
* Nina Goern, one of the two cats on the trees, was intrigued by my mention of Sandy Danny and Fairport Convention and says she will check them out (for starters, I pointed her in the direction of three clips: Who Knows Where The Time Goes?, Fotheringay and Si Tu Dois Partir
An account* of a leisurely lunch in Marseille followed by a slightly rushed meeting with an intriguing band ...
In the time it took to finish off a plate of spaghetti alle vongole on the Vieux Port, Marseille's famous waterfront location and home to the exotic musical ensemble that is Moussu T, I counted five wedding parties going by in noisy processions of cars.
There were garlands streaming from each vehicle, horns blaring, passengers stretched out through open windows. Each convoy presented a classic French wedding-day scene witnessed in countless towns and cities every Saturday, but each was distinctly multi-racial.
A vibrant point of entry and exit for Europe and the Maghreb, Marseille generally rises above the occasional advances of Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration Front National to show a united front. It is a long way from perfection, as demonstrated in chilly fashion by the rounds of Chicago-style score-settling among underworld factions, but in no city of France do different ethnic groups rub along more harmoniously.