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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
David Kidman - Net
The latest album by this rejuvenated four-piece is so much more than you might expect from a brief consideration of its title (which could be seen as a merely succinct, if clever anagrammatic reshuffle of the key elements). It's also a difficult album to review, because I really can't find anything to criticise. It sounds great, contains some excellent playing and singing (solo and harmony vocals alike), and uniformly fine writing. The musical personalities of the individual participants (Iain Matthews, Andy Roberts, Mark Griffiths and Julian Dawson) are brought out well yet neither subjugated nor unduly dominant at any time during the course of the album's 46 minutes and 12 tracks.
The rich accomplishments of the various elements in the mix - for example, Julian's prominent harmonica playing, Andy Roberts sundry stringed instruments - are a continuous marvel to behold. Tucked in amongst the superb individual and joint compositions, the set features two surprising covers - Poor Moon (the old Canned Heat number) and Sloth (yes, the Fairport chestnut), both of which emerge credibly and at sufficient distance from the originals to count as eminently worthwhile essays - and Like A Cat, a curious little song of unknown provenance.
Ever supremely classy and accessible, Plainsong quietly and unfussily continue to provide musical satisfaction on a very high plane with this new release, which I can't praise highly enough.

Plainsong at Birmingham's MAC in 2003

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

Andy, Iain, Julian and Andy Metcalfe during recording for Pangolins




Blue Rose
BLU CD0299
  • Compact Disk
1 Milarepa's Song (Roberts)
2 The Changing of the Guard (Matthews/ Rathje)
3 Numbers (Dawson)
4 Here Come The Rain (Matthews)
5 Needle In The Hay (Roberts/Matthews)
6 Poor Moon (Wilson)
7 Barbed Wire Fence (Matthews/Dawson)
8 Sloth (Thompson/Swarbrick)
9 All New People (Matthews/Dawson)
10 Like A Cat (Unknown)
11 The Ballad of Frankie Frame (Dawson/Kennedy)
12 Blossom (Matthews/Droge/Hedeboe)
Andy Roberts
Iain Matthews
Mark Griffiths
Julian Dawson
Andy Metcalfe
Andy Metcalfe