THE GREEN CHILDREN AND OTHER POEMS
This second CD is now available from this website or the band. It comprises Martin’s new long poem, The Green Children accompanied by original music composed by members of The Hosepipe Band as well as three more of Martin’s shorter poems: Royal Norfolk, The Winter, and Severe Weather Warning – all accompanied by original music.
Here’s the opening track as a taster: Green Children
This CD is available at a cost of £8.00 + postage*. Pay by Paypal (see below) or send a cheque from UK bank, payable to Mrs V. Haines, to: 4, Church Street, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 5DU.
* Prices with postage rates listed in “With postage” menu below.
Also available to download from:
THE SONG OF THE WATERLILY AND BLACK SHUCK
Martin Newell and the Hosepipe Band’s 2015 digipak CD is available at a cost of £10.00 + postage*. Pay by Paypal (see below) or send a cheque from UK bank, payable to Mrs V. Haines, to: 4, Church Street, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 5DU.
* Prices with postage rates listed in “With postage” menu below.
Here are excerpts from the two poems (Click the titles to play)
Mercurial, that’s the word. Martin Newell is indeed a mercurial beast. From progressive rock to shimmering and often skewed indie pop, never one to follow conventions and creating wonderful and quintessentially English music along the way. Latterly he has dedicated his time to being a poet, author and award-winning columnist. Here we find 2 of his best-loved poems put to music with the aid of East Anglia’s longest established ceilidh outfit, The Hosepipe Band, and the result is fantastic. The first half of the album is The Song of the Waterlily, which documents the building of a ship, a deep-sea fishing smack, seen through the eyes of a younger apprentice shipwright, a journey from tree to sea. The series of musical chapters weave between spoken word, shanty choruses, gentle folk accompaniments and smart musical interludes and reminds me of the sort of thing that Jethro Tull may have engaged in back in their seventies Songs From The Wood era heydays (only without the one legged theatrics and frightening codpieces.)
The song cycle just oozes calm and pastoral peace, despite the industriousness at the heart of the story, for it is a gentle, older form of productivity, one that seems at one with the waterfront and greenery you picture as the tales framework.
Black Shuck is a darker piece, the tale of a demonic hound that has been haunting the fens, coastline and churchyards since “Essex was a front line between Saxon and Dane” a beast whose presence spells misfortune. Musically, in contrast to the lighter folk offerings for the first piece, we get more drama and more eclecticism in the music.
Through these two poems, which seem to hark back to earlier times, Newell is allowing himself to revel in the East Anglia that he loves, the small villages and quiet lanes, the timelessness and weight of history which seems to hang in the air.
Even if you’re not from the neck of the woods that Martin and The Hosepipe Band are so wonderfully honouring, it still speaks to the listener of lost times and folklore, of tales told in corners of pubs on winter nights and of the ever present sea. It is a wonderful collaboration that matches the deft words of Newell with some suitably dexterous playing from the band and makes for a very unique experience.
May 15, 2016
MARTIN NEWELL WITH THE HOSEPIPE BAND
The Song Of The Waterlily /Black Shuck
Own label MNTHBCD1
He functioned as a singing songwriter when mainstay of The Cleaners From Venus and then as a solo attraction before becoming, so it says here, the “most-published living poet in the UK”. Two of his lengthier offerings in the capacity, The Song Of The Waterlily and Black Shuck, have long been available on the
printed page. However, the proudly East Anglian bard now intones them on this collaboration with The Hosepipe Band, a local ceilidh outfit, affiliated most famously to New Model Army and The Churchfitters.
Among resources at their command are a serviceable pool of composers; the vocal concord of Cara Bruns and Simon Haines, and their mastery of the disparate likes of hurdygurdy, hammered dulcimer, musical saw, guitar,
keyboards, schwirrbogen (a more euphonious version of a bullroarer), concertina – and all manner of blowing instruments. These include the bagpipes to the fore on the stirring conclusion to Warplanes, one of the eight tracks over which Black Shuck is spread, interspersed with succinctly-arranged interludes
by the group.
Another highlight of this section is the Jethro Tullesque Churchyard Clang finale, but, overall, Black Shuck (concerning a spectral canine) contains a more compatible qualitative balance of spoken word and music than its companion work. While the recurring We Are The Ship theme to Waterlily may come to be heard, despite differing arrangements, no more than a mariner hears the sea,
the instrumentals – particularly Rowhedge Regatta and the piano-led intro to Song Of The Storm Part 1 – bear more repeated listening than Martin’s narrative. Nevertheless, the backing to this in every selection on this release (as should incidental music in a film) enhances rather than diverts attention from
declamations which, if wordy, are never precious. So much so that I was left with a vague feeling that I’d like to hear more – and there’s plenty of that in five other Newell retrospectives within the catalogue.
Martin Newell with The Hosepipe Band
The Song of the Waterlily & Black Shuck (Independent)
This is a wonderfully English collaboration, featuring Martin Newell, an award-winning North Essex poet, and a stalwart East Anglian ceilidh band. Together they tackle two of Newell’s poems: The Song of the Waterlily and the epic Black Shuck.
The Song of the Waterlily describes the building and sailing of a traditional Essex deep-sea fishing smack, “from tree to sea”. Black Shuck is about the sinister ghostly dog, which is said to have haunted the eerie East Anglian fens, broads, and wetlands since Viking times. Following the phantom dog’s tracks through the half-forgotten misty lanes of North Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, the poem seeks to capture some of the dark mystery of this largely unsung part of southeastern England. The poetry is evocative and moving while the music supports it perfectly and punctuates each transition from passage to passage. Highly recommended.
– By Tim Readman
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