Oysterband — Here I Stand
(Omnium OMM2023, 1999, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2000-05-01Oysterband (originally The Oyster Band) has been making music in their own unique and developing style for more than a decade. I would hesitate to call them a post-punk equivalent of Fairport Convention, but their role in British Isles folk music is similar. They’ve taken a mixture of traditional songs and dances and brought them together with contemporary styles. It was with Deserters in 1992 that they really came into their own, presenting music that went beyond rocked-up reels and really had an identity of its own. Lead singer John Jones has an impassioned delivery and accompanies himself on melodeon or concertina. He’s backed by Ian Telfer (violin and viola), Alan Prosser (electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, backing vocals), Chopper (bass, cello, backing vocals), and Lee (drums and percussion). Songwriting duties are shared by various combinations of the five when they’re not reworking traditional tunes. The arrangements vary from delicate acoustic sounds to powerful rock. Here I Stand is a fine addition to their body of work, finding a middle ground between the reflective mood of Deep Dark Ocean (1997), and the angry raucous sound of The Shouting End of Life (1995). This new collection features 16 tracks, several of which rank with Oysterband’s all-time best. “Street of Dreams,” with its sawing fiddles and catchy melody, is a great original rock-jig, and “Someone You Might Have Been” presents an eerie acoustic sound with impressive depth.
Related artist(s): Oysterband
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more