CD REVIEWS (in detail)

"This is the band's debut CD, and a superb one it is too, having just the right amount of up-tempo swing while not feeling too modern. Very fine music!"

Cat Eldridge in Green Man Review, USA 

"The first thing that struck me about this album is that it opens with the same tune as the Old Swan Band's ground-breaking, No Reels. The OSB in 1977 were, of necessity, zealots, rebelling against the notion that speed equals excitement. Twenty years on, that battle hasn't been won, but today's bands can be more relaxed and Captain Swing take Walter Bulwer's Polka at a faster but very danceable pace. Throughout, the tempo is just right, reflecting the fact that the band members are themselves keen dancers when they get a night off. It's not merely a functional CD. One reviewer said that a lot of thought had gone into the arrangements on the album, but this is just how Captain Swing play all the time, making it an entertaining evening even if you're not dancing. They choose their tunes well. The excellent set of hornpipes The Wonder / Enrico is followed by an even better set of slip jigs. A couple of tracks later, they're showing their versatility by swinging a thirties dance band tune. Andy Casserley's tunes are inventive and fit in well with the traditional numbers. Was Sally and the Stopcock suggested by the play Juno and the Paycock? But my favourite track was La Belle Janette / Ma Lad's Ower Bonny. One member of the band doesn't get a look in, though. Which is a shame, because Mike Griffiths' calling is one of the reasons Captain Swing are so successful. He's always very clear and precise. The band are finally breaking into the festival circuit with a well received appearance earlier this year at Chippenham."

Bob Taberner in The Folk Mag

"I had the pleasure of dancing to them at Chippenham this year, so I know they are brilliant live. This CD is a mixture of great English tunes and some penned by Andy Casserley. The line up contains concertinas, whistles, sax, clarinet and melodeon, backed by guitar, bass and percussion. Someone worked overtime on the arrangements because no two tracks sound alike. They vary from very bouncy English as on Waterloo Dance to a very French-sounding Cold North Seas and a wonderful, laid-back, layered jazzy sound on The Locksmith. Every track has something to offer. Recommended listening."

Mick Brooks in Shreds and Patches

"This is the band's first CD, and a very good one it is too, having just the right amount of swing – not too EFDSS [English Folk Dance and Song Society] and not too EII [eclectic folk/reggae band Edward II]. I could dance to this all day – it's lively, the music fits the dances properly, and there's a good variety of instruments, tempos and styles. Well worth a listen."

Ian Bradshaw in Buzz

"When Ted Heath (band leader not banned leader) met Cecil Sharp … a likely story huh? Well it must have happened because I am listening to just such a genre. Regularly. And that for me is pretty unlikely. A gem. Jade to be precise. Small but perfectly formed, exquisitely crafted, polished and detailed, yet the true nature of the material never out of focus. Danceable but more intricate than dance music, you have to go to their gigs for the terpsichore. CDs should rightly be less strenuous pleasures. Pleasure is what you get, foot tapping with no manic pulsating beats, no hard driving rhythms, but enough space, pace &/or grace. Every inch folk, either trad or self penned, plenty of instruments, and a few wry observations like the tune Andy called The Locksmith because it has a lot of keys. My kinda humour, my kinda music. Get it at their dances"

Cresby in Folkwrite