Review of Chris Wood's album Albion An Anthology.
I have a secret. I haven't told anyone this before. But when I was about twelve I used to go and watch Sheffield Wednesday. Yes this is bad. Particularly, when you are from Barnsley and have a Barnsley FC season ticket. In my defence I used to go when there were no home games and to just watch some top league football. I was always impressed by their, and England's goalkeeper Chris Woods. Many a time I have wondered what he was up to these days and when I received his Anthology I thought well that's good, this proves footballers can make themselves a career after football.
However, it turns out this isn't him! So don't make the same mistake as I did. It is in fact a folk troubadour who can pull off a sea shanty like an old salty sea dog twice his age. I have to admit however, although I like a bit of folk music, and have recorded with folk bands, this monster of an album did take a few listens to get through. But, admittedly this was not due to lack of quality, more to save me from buying a sea worthy vessel and calling everyone 'Me 'Earty!'. And, in all fairness it is an Anthology, a collection of his work so this is to be expected I suppose me 'eartys!
What was nice about this collection was the order in which it had been put together. It generally follows the form of vocal track followed by instrumental track. Wood also utilises a female vocalist to add to his sound. He has a sound very much like the mighty folk legend that is John Tams, of Sharpe fame no less.
This is probably a must to have in their music collection for any hardy folky. As ever with this genre of music, you really do need to be a fan to get anything out of it and the musicianship is of the best you will hear (I have to admit I did enjoy a lot of the instrumentals though, but that's just me). Those folkies really know how to command an instrument, be it accordion, fiddle or compass.
Pablo 'Sea Dog' Roffey