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Faustus Faustus
Album: Cotton Lords
Label: West Park
Tracks: 5

One time Radio Two Folk Award nominees Faustus are three of the leading lights of their generation: Benji Kirkpatrick (member of the Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead and leader of his own band), Saul Rose (member of Waterson : Carthy and Whapweazel) and Paul Sartin (member of Belshazzar's Feast and also one time member of Bellowhead). The COTTON LORDS EP is the result of a few months sifting through the publications and journals of the 19th Century Lancashire Cotton Famine era, to document and preserve the poetry of this distressing chapter of working class history. It is the words and voices from history set to music by Faustus that make up this ongoing project.

'Cotton Lords' is a stirring vocal piece from the trio, brimming with vim and anger at the hypocrisy of an apparently Christian society. 'Lancashire Operatives' and 'Lancashire Factory Girl' are slightly warmer but desperate pleas from people taken to absolute rock bottom by poverty, this is the bleak tenderness behind the vitriol. There is beauty and sadness in this song, with Paul Sartin's violin and vocal harmonies to break your heart. 'Wrongs And Rights' crackles with righteous anger. Benji, Paul and Saul formed the core band in a 2016 revival and reworking of Peter Bellamy's The Transports. This track has some of the bite and rawness of Bellamy's Young Tradition, but underscored by something life affirming buzzing instrumental music. 'I Would This War Were Ended' is a resigned song of weary resignation and resentment to loss of livelihood, rightly likening the social struggle to a conflict. In these politically charged times of haves and have-nots , Faustus present a set of poignant history lessons that powerfully speak to us of progress and how little somethings have changed.

Marc Higgins