The folking English
November 17, 2007 1:02 AM   Subscribe

The Imagined Village [promoting an album too but plenty of interesting free stuff] Several luminaries of a now more globalised British music scene reinterpret the folk heritage and pose questions about a modern English identity. There's Benjamin Zephaniah's version of Tam Lyn and a retelling of Hard Times in Old England; even our American cousins get in on the act, for instance remixes like Doghouse Riley's doo-wop Cold Hailey Rainy Night. There's also a few thinky pieces explaining what it's all about.
posted by Abiezer (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite it's much what Blyth Power's been doing for the last twenty-five years, only with that git from the Afro-Celt Sound System, then?
posted by Hogshead at 4:57 AM on November 17, 2007

Lord, I've not heard anything from Blyth Power for ages; wasn't aware they were still together. This seems a bit broader than a single band could manage, unsurprisingly.
posted by Abiezer at 6:42 AM on November 17, 2007

I admire what RealWorld is trying to do here: reinvigorating and reinterpreting English folklore and traditional music. But much of what happens musically still seems to me somehow artificial. Grafted on. I'm just a wee bit unconvinced by sitar lines and funky beats thrown in and under English folk songs. I know their hearts are in the right place, though. I want to like all this stuff more than I actually do.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:41 PM on November 17, 2007

That's a point well taken flapjax. I remember catching a gig by a polka band (Edward II iirc) working with dub star the Mad Professor years ago which pulled off a similar trick without seeming at all forced. The various Carthys taking part in this project I like just doing their fairly straight folk, and I did enjoy Zephaniah completely re-doing Tam Lyn - I thought he got the spirit without straying into pastiche.
posted by Abiezer at 5:20 PM on November 17, 2007

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Zephaniah's Tam Lyn is great. I'll be trying to get tickets to their show in a week or so at the South Bank.
posted by jonesor at 2:16 PM on November 18, 2007

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