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Wednesday 6 July 2022

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Revel & Rhyme – Nettlebone

Apr 6, 2020

A rather fascinating object by a band with lots of potential, Nettlebone, even the name is considered and suitably rustic. Methodology is rather indie, a bit of attitude in the mix as Forrest brothers Justin and Dominic round on history and create harmonic, folksy items using a variety of antique instruments, hurdy gurdy, crumhorn, English bagpipes, you get the idea.

Support provided by the like minded Jude Rees and Jon Loomes. The opening ‘World Upside Down,’ celebrates the Levellers in bouncy rhythmic grooves, ‘Old Tom’ a catchy thing decrying the lure of London in the Dark Ages. So it goes right to the conclusion ballads of battles,May Day dancing, roundheads and sundry social issues. The wide sweep of instruments means no two tracks are alike and there’s enough in the arrangements and textures to make repeat spins worthwhile. I’d like a bit more oomph and beef next time, an injection of electric bass or a subtle lead guitar might add that, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the early music factor. If Amazing Blondel had the musical chops of Blowzabella and the historical knowledge of Michael Wood the mutant might sound something like this. Intriguing.

Simon Jones

nettlebone.bandcamp.com/releases iTunes, Spotify, Tidal as well.

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