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Traditional songs and new songs in traditional style.
Our latest albums, what they think –
‘WAIT FOR NO MAN’ HATRACD09 2014
This is the fourth recording from Paul and Liz and, for reasons I have yet to work out, the first I’ve heard. I’ve been aware of their research work into the customs and traditions of South Yorkshire, their almost messianic championing of sword dancing (reflected in the CD’s opening track ‘Come, See the Boys Go Round’) and sat through and enjoyed their concert sets both as a duo and in the company of family. All I can do is apologise, and say it was worth the wait.
Given that they both hail from Hull, we shouldn’t be surprised that many of the songs have a nautical bent. Paul’s ability as a songwriter is without question, as evidenced by ‘Silver in the Pocket’ and ‘The Price of Cod’. But for me, the strongest of the self-penned songs moves inland. Inspired by Antony Gormley’s sculpture, ‘Iron Angels’ gives us a vision of a bleak, industrial upbringing that is still the grim reality for many... definitely Old Testament angels, terrible in their beauty.
Some very lovely traditional songs include ‘The Nightingale’ (the ship, not the bird... ), and moving outside the north of England ‘Seven King’s Daughters’. This is a version of ‘The Outlandish Knight’ from Virginia which, strangely does away with the talking parrot... usually my favourite bit. Paul’s explanation is nothing if not interesting. Liz’s version of ‘The Lass of Humberside’ is poignantly sung, due perhaps to the fact that the story reflects the life of her maternal great-grandmother and so many other women of the east coast.
The voices are strong, both solo and in harmony, and Paul’s duet concertina adds yet another layer to the sound. I enjoyed this immensely, and if you enjoy good songs well sung, you will too.
Baz Parkes ‘ED&S’ – Spring 2011
PAUL & LIZ DAVENPORT
Shadows In The Mist – HATRCD12 2018
Safe hands! This is the fifth album by Paul and Liz Davenport and what a traditional delight it is too! The production of the CD is simplicity itself, with most of the material being sung solo or in unison. Helping to create a pleasing balance to the whole, never intrusive and always an embellishment, there is an occasional concertina accompaniment. It could be argued that there are better 'gun-slingers' out there, who deliver near perfect vocals, instrumentalisation and production values, but in the process a sanitisation of the material can often occur. Not so here, Shadows In The Mist delivers an honest, heartfelt performance throughout, which is a refreshing, back to the roots attitude which many could learn from.
In terms of the material there are some real gems on this CD, approximately a quarter of which have been written with great skill, feeling and compassion by Paul himself. Molly Mainprize is a reworking of a factual event that happened in the 19th century when, for several years, great quantities of fish suddenly appeared and just as suddenly disappeared. In great traditional style, Paul has added a vaguely ethereal character called Molly, which certainly fits into the long tradition of songs concerning the 'faerie world'. The CD takes its name from the last song on the album, which, whilst perhaps of local interest, is a fine evocative song concerning Saddleworth Moor. However, my favourite composition by Paul is the powerful This Is The Price. Essentially concerned with the Miners Strike of 1984-85, it is so much more than the cataclysmic event that rocked the mining community to the very core. A superb piece of work that deserves much wider exposure.
This CD is an exemplar of traditional and modern where the seam is rich, but never discernible between the new and the old, a fine accolade indeed!
John Oke Bartlett ‘Living Tradition‘ Autumn 2018
admin ’at’ hallamtrads.co.uk (fill in the ‘at’ with @)
We specialise in unusual versions of Ballads and self-penned narrative material. Our songs stem from research and personal experience. We are available as a duo or a quartet with Gavin and Amy Davenport for club and festival bookings, concerts, workshops and other events during 2016/17.
See us at:
Sunday Singing Session
4th Sunday - Kelham Island Tavern 8.00
Maltby Folk Session
1st Tuesday, The Sheppey, Grange Lane, Maltby
Doncaster Folk Club
Mason’s Arms, Market Place, Doncaster
For details of our past performances click HERE
Crookes Folk Club, Sheffield
7th March 2019
Sheffield Folk Sessions Festival
19th to 21st April 2019
Doncaster Folk Festival (Davenport Family)
17th to 18th May 2019
Festival on the Moor
24th to 27th May 2019
Newark Traditions Festival
19th to 21st July 2019
Whitby Folk Week (Davenport Family)
17th to 23rd Aug 2019
Tenterden Folk Festival
3rd to 6th Oct 2019
Hartlepool Folk Festival (Davenport Family)
18th to 20th Oct 2019
Under the Leaves  HATRCD01
Songbooks  HATRCD02
Spring Tide Rising  HATRCD04
Wait for No Man  HATRCD09
Shadows in the Mist  HATRCD12
Blue Bell Folk –
Folk Union One 1969  HATRCD10
Kelham Island Voices  Savile House
And the Ladies Go Dancing  TECD 3015
A Place to Dwell  Southend YMCA
Paul & Liz Davenport