By CrossHarbour

Twelve comments

A great new band based in London coming out of the current vibrant Irish scene, with some truly excellent musicians, i.e. Órlaith McAuliffe (Flute, Whistles), Sam Proctor (Fiddle), Philippe Barnes (Guitar, Flute, Whistles), Tad Sargent (Bódhran, Bouzouki-Guitar), and Rosie Hodgson (Vocals).

The music is a mix of old and new tunes (many written by Órlaith McAuliffe), with really inventive arrangements and some great singing

I can’t put into words how much I dislike this album and everything it represents. Orlaith’s excellent flute and whistle playing and Rosies singing is the only mitigating factor, but it’s not enough to rescue this recording. Its’ not even that it’s knockoff Flook in its execution, but it’s music for yuppies by yuppies and it’ll sell great shakes no doubt as it will be marketed very slickly.

I am intrigued by the last comments regarding this CD as I don’t know what the contributor means by ‘everything it represents’, or ‘music for yuppies by yuppies’. If the comment means that they are not traditional enough, well the same charge could surely be laid at the door of many new bands, including Flook. There are many great CDs of strongly traditional material coming out all the time, but that doesn’t mean other artists can’t explore the music in other directions. Even the great stalwarts of the tradition have done that from time to time. The music here is played well, and whilst it may be influenced by bands such as Flook or Lunasa, I would suggest these musicians have the right to express themselves as they see fit without the need for someone to express anonymous vitriol against them. The previous contributor doesn’t have to like the CD, but the comments seem deliberately, and unnecessarily, malicious.

It’s not necessarily that its’ not especially ‘traditional’. I don’t play particularly pure drop trad and had a phase of being heavily into Flook as it goes. I do feel its a bit cynical as a production though.

I offer a partial retraction. The first track i listened to was the one with Jackson’s starting it, which has annoying annoying guitar/ fiddle riff spoiling my favourite tune, then listened to Trigonometry, which is like a Flook b-side like the Eb reels but not as tight. The jackson’s set is probably the poorest set on the whole album though - others which feature the flute/whistle playing of Orlaith prominently are excellent like Palmer’s gate set.

I’ve seen CD’s pilloried on here, for far less reason though. I know far better bands than Crossharbour playing ‘nu-trad’ (for want of a better word) sink without trace, yet certain people keep popping up, no problem landing the big festivals in the UK. I have no problem with Orlaith (who I think deserves the hype, absolutely fantastic flute player), i am however a bit jaded seeing some other individuals in this line up who seem to have the proverbial silver spoon when it comes to opportunities, and it seems down to connections and marketing not talent.

I am with Niall Kenny on this CD and I can’t see what buzzing insect has got into Atheist’s billious bonnet. I saw this band live in Leeds a couple of months ago having never seen or heard them before and I was knocked out by their great all-round musicianship. Their live act is even better than this excellent recording and I urge anyone to catch them when they can.

Fine, but speaking as someone who’s come up loving the music and from a young age wanting to emulate mcgoldrick, brian finnegan, cormac breatnach, i can tell you there’s feck all opportunities for most. You can see who’se going to make it from the start, and battling the cynicism doesn’t change the facts. If yer face doesn’t fit, you’ll get nowhere near the main festivals, nowhere near an All-Ireland, etc. Facing another summer without gigs and having my band fold from lack of gigs and when you *do* get gigs, people expecting you to travel to the arse end of Scotland to play festival gigs for free etc, and seeing the same faces getting the gigs recycling the same gimmicks. Its all very well doing it for the love of the music but it gets old in a hurry. I’m glad of the anonymity of the mustard boards and probably crossharbour don’t deserve the brunt of my ire, but i posted that knowing full well they’ve already got it made: nothing an anonymous punter on here could do would change that. I even bought their CD, just don’t be surprised if the UK folk scene dies a death.

I know of some of these musicians through sessions at UK festivals, which is why this rant started i guess. Playing sessions at Sidmouth for some cheesy chips is about as good as it gets for most of us. Having put in the work for years for a band which then folds. So yes I am pissed off, and yes, you will get a scene which is ‘by yuppies for yuppies’ which is what happened to jazz. If you are fine with this, then be a good little punter and go to crossharbour gigs and buy all their CD’s, be a good little consumer.


"Playing sessions at Sidmouth for some cheesy chips"

We don’t need to go to Sidmouth, pal, when there’s so many chips already on your shoulder.

Boom boom.

Apologies to all. I think I’m having a meltdown of sorts. unfortunately letting off steam online leaves a permanent record of me having been an idiot. :/

Meh, trad is never going to make anyone a fortune. Who cares if a band is doing well? I know a couple of people in this band and never having met them before they welcomed me in their session with open arms, not a hint of snobbery or malice. Pity the same can’t be said for all sessions or musicians. And on top of that they are all great musicians. The style may not be everyone’s cup of tea - I admit, I like all kinds of trad and I think they are great.

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