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Traditional songs and new songs in traditional style.
Our latest album, 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
I found this recording really intriguing, principally because I didn’t expect to enjoy it half as much as I did, and so I found myself asking what it was that made it so listenable. My misgivings were not down to Paul and Liz themselves, who I’ve had the pleasure of hearing on many occasions, but were due to the fact that more than half of the 17 songs on this CD are contemporary compositions - of which I am always wary. I needn’t have worried. Paul’s very considerable background in traditional song has been employed to excellent effect in the seven new songs that he’s contributed to this CD and his own masterly turn of phrase shines through time and again. He’s also put a fine tune to A E Housman’s The Lads That Will Never Be Old and translated and adapted a French version of the Cruel Sister. Paul and Liz’s choice of traditional material is also done with discernment and the entire recording seems to fit together well, wrapped up as much by its homogeneity as by the intended theme of ‘time and tide’.
For me, one of the highpoints was a fascinating version of the Outlandish Knight, here titled Seven Kings’ Daughters and with a most unusual ending .Two other tracks that I found outstanding were from the fishing (or ‘tide’) element of the theme – Silver In The Pocket and The Price Of Cod, two powerful pieces from Paul’s pen and as notable for the quality of the songwriting as for the singing. Indeed, the couple seemed to be more at home with their own material on occasion than with the traditional songs.
Most of the songs have to do with the area north of the Humber and with the adjacent North Sea, but any risk of undue ‘regionalism’ is immediately dispersed by reference to the concise and illuminating sleeve notes, which do what they should – fill out the background to the song. And I can’t finish without referring to the tasteful duet concertina accompaniment (Paul again), which adds a fine counterpoint to the voices.
There are a lot of good songs on this CD and they deserve to be more widely sung. In fact, after listening to them a couple of times, you’ll be joining in.
John Waltham ‘Living Tradition‘ Spring 2014
admin ’at’ hallamtrads.co.uk (fill in the ‘at’ with @)
We specialise in unusual versions of Ballads and other 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
Maritime Concert, Hull
24th Feb 2018
Crookes FC, Princess Royal, Slinn St. Sheffield
1st March 2018 Cancelled due to advers weather -
To be re-scheduled
Sheffield Folk Sessions Festival
30th Mar to 1st April 2018
Doncaster Folk Festival
11th to 13th May 2018
Newark Traditions Festival
20th to 23rd July 2018
Warwick Folk Festival
26th to 29th July 2018
Festival on the Moor
24th to 27th May 2019
Under the Leaves  HATRCD01
Songbooks  HATRCD02
Spring Tide Rising  HATRCD04
Wait for No Man  HATRCD09
Blue Bell Folk –
Folk Union One 1969
Kelham Island Voices  Savile House
And the Ladies Go Dancing
Paul & Liz Davenport