Reviews

Belshazzar's FeastBelshazzar's Feast
Album: The Whiting's On The Wall
Label: Unearthed/Outlandish
Tracks: 20
Website: http://www.belshazzarsfeast.com

Belshazzar's Feast have become much of a national treasure on the folk scene during their twenty years performing together. Intelligent humour and witty banter between the duo of Pauls (Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson) adds an extra entertaining atmosphere during live shows which is slightly harder to capture in recordings.

The Whiting's On The Wall is a 20th Anniversary special to celebrate the duo's success, capturing some of that atmosphere that their pair generate in their live shows to take their records to the next level.

As a result of this aim, eight of the tracks on the album are actual vocal 'Intros' and not actually song recordings. Although there can sometimes be intros or even intros on song tracks it is unusual to have them separated out as tracks of their own. These are a mix of silly interludes and factual histories behind the tunes that are being played.

The tunes are a collection of the favourites that Belshazzar's Feast have played over the years to a live audience including 'Wild Rover and 'Rondo A La Turkey', all using the classic accordion skills of Paul Hutchinson and the fiddle, vocals and oboe of Paul Sartin.

In particular tunes such as 'One Cold Morning' in particular really capture the audience reactions to the amusing lyrics and talented playing. Listening to the live album does make you wonder why Belshazzar's Feast have not yet chosen to release a DVD as this would capture the live atmosphere even better since listeners would be able to see the visual gags rather than just hearing the audience reactions to them.

Paul Rawcliffe

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