ALBION DANCE BAND Dancing Days Are Here Again Talking Elephant TECD069 (2007)
Archive cull of a folk rock institution continues apace with this 2-CD set comprising a 1976 performance at London's Festival Hall and recordings from 1983.
The studio tracks on disc 2 are a mix of trad., anon, and band-written material that lack the cohesion of the live set and work best as bonus material (will probably play nicely for TV film or documentary use one day).
The former is the more satisfying, offering muscular interpretations of tradtitional songs and instrumentals, delivered by a nine person line-up including Simon Nicol, Dave Mattacks, Phil Pickett, band founder Ashley Hutchings and the wonderfully doleful-voiced Shirley Collins.
A band at the height of its powers summons the English traditional with playful spirit and conviction, offering tantalising glimpses of dark undertow amidst the dancing and jolly hey-nonny-hey.