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Uncle Fester

Along the miners rows. Star Club 17th September

Along the Miners Rows is a song cycle with narrative about the Auchengeich colliery disaster in 1959 presented by Bill Adair along with a group of good competent musicians. I'd been looking forward to hearing this for a while and I'd heard wonderful things about the accompanying CD. I was perhaps expecting more than I should.
I think there are seven or eight songs and a couple of instrumental pieces in the presentation, all competently delivered with a spoken narrative and a rolling slide show of photographs. All very interesting - but...
The problem with a project of this kind is paucity of content. There's a skill in stretching the details of a event like a mining disaster to fill an hour's narrative, and sadly, for me, it didn't work. It was as if too few points were being laboured to fill too much time, and the show dragged on quite a bit.

These opinions weren't shared by everyone. Bill Morris, the compere, went to great length  to stress how wonderful he thought  the show had been, and I expect there were plenty of others who thoroughly enjoyed it. For your Uncle Fester though, it gets a personal thumbs down.

Floor spots from Jim Byrne: bland and uninteresting pop type songs sung with poor diction and an affected accent, this fellow's all over the folk scene like a rash just now. and Kenny Caird: playing it safe with familiar material,  old jokes, and the microphone just too far away from his amplifier to catch the full sound of that lush Godin guitar.

This week it's Jez Lowe. I can't see me not liking that.

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