Phoenix Dance Band

All Fired Up

Firebird Records FBR 005

1. Ruardean Sword Bearer's Tune / Getting Upstairs / 29th of May (24 bar polkas);  2. Shepherd Boy's March / Sheffield Hornpipe / The High Tea (hornpipes) ;  3. Blue Morning / Madeleine's Waltz / Larry's Waltz (waltzes);  4. Reunion Jig / Sarah's Jig / Fox & Geese (jigs);  5. Alexandra Park / Mount Hills / Ganglåt från Mockförd (hornpipes);  6. Nantwich Fair / Enfield Wash / Spirit of the Dance (jigs);  7. Pearl O'Shaughnessy's Barndance (banrndance);  8. Neil Taylor's Jig / Ann and Albert's Silver Wedding / Gallowglass Rant (jigs);  9. Tanner Man / Kentish Cricketers / Tip Top Hornpipe (polkas);  10. Lang Johnny Moir / Old Man Quinn / Horse Keane's Hornpipe (hornpipes);  11. Success to the Campaign / The Squall / Royal Burlesque (reels);  12. Snowy Monday / Giga Ferrarese / My Darling Asleep (jigs);  13. Laddie wi' the Plaidie / Will Atkinson's Schottische (24 bar schottisches);  14. King Columb's Sword / The Little Diamond / Hunt the Squirrel (polkas);  15. Mike's (Untitled) Barndance / Dances at Kinvarra (barndances).
This CD was given to me by a friend; there isn't a dulcimer to be heard - but some great tunes!  It's difficult to be objective as I know and/or have played with some of the band members over many years, but if you've not come across this particular line-up, I suggest that you should!  The musicians are well-known to those who love traditional tunes played in the English style, and are some of its most experienced exponents: Rod Stradling - melodeons, Kevin Bown - piano, Mike Pinder and Fran Wade - fiddles, and Steve Harrison - harmonicas. They share many years playing in an assortment of bands, sometimes at the same time!

All Fired Up is Phoenix's second CD.  Traditional English music is pretty idiosyncratic; musicians feel the rhythm and play both to it and around it, each one contributing as an individual within the confines of their own chosen instrument, so it can sometimes sound as if they aren't strictly together.  But that's deceptive; as you listen, let your feet take over and you'll see what compulsive dance music this is.  The piano underpins and provides the solid dance rhythm around which the other instruments weave and work.  Although the tunes sound very English, the sources are anything but.  The eclectic mix comes from Italy, Scotland, Belgium, Sweden, Canada, Ireland and the US, as well as England from Northumberland down to Dorset via Bacup.  Plenty there for all tastes.  The real show-stopper has to be Pearl O'Shaughnessy's Barndance, which has probably already become both a dance and session staple.  You can watch Phoenix playing it at Whitby a couple of years ago here -

Jenny Coxon - 18.8.16

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