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The Ale Marys The Ale Marys
Album: The Ale Marys
Label: Wee Dog
Tracks: 10

The Ale Marys are a bunch of musicians from the fine Yorkshire town of Otley that keeps on producing fine musicians and that is in no small way to the burgeoning live music nights that has the town dancing to a lively beat.

The debut album of ten songs captures the band in fine fettle. The opening track How About You features Dave Turner on flute which gives the music an ethereal feel.

The Ale Marys comprise husband and wife team Gerry and Ani McNiece on guitars, Nick Downes on bass, Bernie Gilmore on drums, and Dave Turner on flute, whistles and accordion and they all chip in with vocals.

The songs, all written by the McNeices, have a retro feel about them and the album bounces along very nicely.

I have heard the band described as "jingly jangly pop" but I think this misses the point. This is a band that loves and lives their music and as one who has seen them live I can vouch for their committent and style.

Sure there are some kitschy elements, but this is music played a smile on its face. It is toe-tapping cool.

I particularly liked The Rest Of My Days and I Walk On Alone - two songs that capture the band's spirit very well. The jaunty The Rest Of My Days contrasts beautifully with the slower and more complex I Walk On Alone.

The guitars and flute weave in out of songs and give this band a unique sound. Catch this group on the live circuit and you won't be disappointed.

John Knighton