Skinner & T'witch's 'The Fool's Journey' receives an excellent, thoughtful review from Damian Liptrot, Northern Sky Magazine!
Sincere thanks to Damian Liptrot for his fabulous and very thoughtful review of 'The Fool's Journey' for Northern Sky Magazine:
'Those of us who spend time listening to dedicated folk and roots radio shows, broadcasting both here and around the globe, cannot fail to have become familiar with the work of this Leeds based duo in recent times.
Always willing and able to marry traditional folk forms with often humorous and ironic observations on the events and happenings of the day, they are as prolific as they are inventive.
That said, it would not do to pigeonhole them, as a listen to their collected works show a variety range of approaches that is not always apparent through exposure to individual tracks. Sure, there are the playful and amusing interludes, as with the lead track that refers to the traditions of dedicated days for mocking our supposed superiors and then marrying that to the present day and the need to retain that scepticism on a wider scale.
Further in to the album we encounter more traditional folk tales that cover the passing of the seasons and nods to fertility of all kinds, the misery and fear of the common soldier and sailor and then, just as you are lulled into enjoying what could be described as familiar themes, a quick double take reveals that Calais Nights is more than a tale of travel but a hard hitting exploration of the travails of the individuals that make up the current refugee crisis, both personalising them and bringing home the reality of their situation. In the manner that old and new themes are intertwined lyrically, so musically there is a blend of middle eastern and home grown elements that is also to be applauded. There is also a later return to satire as the woes of the present day are explored through that fate of our favourite childhood characters – most of whom appear to have fallen on hard times.
Having introduced the idea of musicality, then hats off to Steve Skinner for his fine and varied instrumental contributions and the powerful and distinctive vocals of Sandra (T'witch) Twitchett, as befits her classical background, though it should also be mentioned that Steve's vocals also feature where appropriate.
There is much here to both enjoy and admire. As they fill the folkwaves and have an increasing presence in the roots clubs up and down the country, alongside preparations for their first assault on the USA, they are an example and an inspiration to all those who wish to put themselves and their music out there. Bloody good luck to them say I.'
Damian Liptrot, Northern Sky Maga