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Plainsong were the closest the UK ever came to producing a rival to the Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, a gloriously harmonic marriage of olde English folk, Appalachian gospel and dustbowl travelogues.

link Andy's Solo Career
James Hibbins - Net Rhythms.com
Iain Matthews must have a Dorian Gray style recording of a really awful sounding folk singer in his attic. How else could you explain the fact that he still has the same warm clear voice heard on early Fairport records and his classic 1970's albums? He has also evolved into an accomplished songwriter with a fine line in cynical invective as demonstrated by the stand out track on this mini album 'To be White', a bitter snipe at the 'white man' in all his 'hang & flog em' racist, xenophobic forms.
Plainsong are now stripped down to a duo of Matthews & fellow founder member Andy Roberts who contributes laid back vocals & various stringed instruments including warm, vivacious acoustic lead guitar. Aside from a Yo La Tengo cover and a trad. arr., songwriting chores are shared evenly & include Roberts' 'Wordplay' an amusing take on the spoken clich├ęs in relationships (and too many song lyrics) & Matthews' 'Big Rumour' . The songs benefit from an uncluttered production and relatively sparse arrangements supported by sensibly minimal percussion programming by Roberts. The whole disc almost has the feel of a demo and sounds all the better for this.
Well worth a listen & may leave you eager for a full album of new material.

 

 

PLainsong as a duo in 2001

Andy Roberts and Iain Matthews playing at Queens College Bristol in 2001

Andy and Iain

PLAINSONG

A to B

A to B
Spin Along Records
SPACD002
2001
  • Compact Disk
1 Our Way To Fall (Yo La Tengo)
2 To Be White (Matthews)
3 Wordplay (Roberts)
4 A Fool For You (Matthews)
5 We Bid You Goodnight - in memoriam
Adrian Henri (Trad. arr. Roberts)
6 Big Rumour (Roberts / Matthews)
MUSICIANS:
Andy Roberts
Iain Matthews
 
PRODUCED BY:
Andy Roberts
Iain Matthews