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Oberon - A Midsummer's Night Dream CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.31 | 28 ratings

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Man Erg
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The only release from these ex Radley College,Oxford students starts with a Pentangle- esque version of the traditional,'Nottanum Town'. Slow in pace with male/female vocals interweaving around each other, the song takes on a lilting,drifting journey accompanied by flute and violin.

The next track, 'Peggy', is a Jansch/Renbourn-ish solo acoustic guitar piece that is summery and languid and a sort of introduction to the next song,The Hunt.Male vocals dominate this jazzy piece.The violin solo is very Stefan Grapelli/gypsy in style.In other words Folk/Jazz/Hot Club de Paris.The guitar on this track is especially beautiful.Again ,jazz chords are the order of the day;not to dis-similar to Richard Thompson's on the first Fairport album track,Sunshade.

'Syrinx' is next up.A version of the piece written by Claude Debussy.

Gerswin and Heyward's 'Summertime' from Porgy and Bess gets the next tribute treatment.IMHO, It's probably the weak point of the album.Jan Scrimgeour's breath control on this is not good. The track's saving grace is probably the violin solo,which,once again revisits The Hot Club de Paris.

'Time Past,Time Come' is a beautiful instrumental that involves bass,flute, violin and acoustic guitar. From Summertime into autumn,you can almost see the leaves turn to gold,red and amber whilst listening to this.Utterly sublime.

'Minas Tirith.' Imagine if Dave Swarbrick and Ian Anderson had played with Pentangle,well this,I should imagine is what would have transpired.Robin Clutterbuck's vocals are a dera-ringer for those of Bert Jansch's.The problem that I have with this track is the drum solo.Not a very well executed one at that.There are a few,very audible mis-hits.In it's defence,time and money in the studio may have put paid to any re-takes .The song then resumes with jazzy flute and guitar.For all of the previous comparisons with regard to the sound of this track, the nearest I can think of is Giles,Giles and Fripp!

The final track,'Epitaph', sounds uncannily like Sandy Denny's ;Who Knows Where the Time Goes? ' Robin Clutterbuck plays and sings beautifully in what is a fitting end to a very curious but albeit,beautiful album

Man Erg | 4/5 |


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