Swan for the Money
Ian Anderson, writing in fRoots magazine, described The Old Swan Band as ‘a well oiled machine’, qualifying it with the additional comment ‘in more ways than one’. True, the band was born in a Cheltenham pub called The Old Swan (for a time an Irish theme pub and now just The Swan) and the band members are often to be found adding their considerable musical weight to English tune sessions in pub back rooms, but ‘well oiled’ must refer to the band’s ability to reach deep into the often hidden vein of English dance repertoire and pull out a gem of a tune which will be delivered to the world in distinctive style. This style is typified by driving fiddles and harmonica, fat brass, persistent and inventive percussion, all glued together with rhythmic and sweet piano. Whether applied to a newly researched tune or to an old favourite, the Old Swan sound is unmistakable.