In recent years there’s been a plethora of albums that have taken one genre of music and reinvented it in the style of another. Hayseed Dixie bluegrassed metal, Nouvelle Vague turned punk and new wave into bossa novas and most recently Hellsongs turned metal classics into lounge. Punk gets a makeover again here, recast (appropriately enough in sociological terms) as folk music from a line up featuring Fairport and Tull veteran guitarist Maartin Allcock, Toss The Feathers fiddler Andy Dinan, Iona’s Uillean piper Troy Donockley and Ade Edmondson. Yes, that Ade Edmondson from The Comic Strip, The Young Ones and Bottom. But, as well as being a comedy actor whose most memorable past musical excursions have been as part of rock parody Bad News, he’s actually an accomplished musician (his voice isn’t bad but he plays mandolin better than he sings) with a clear interest in folk music. After all, his daughter is Ella Edmondson who recently made her own impressive debut.
So, what you have here is a collection of (mostly) punk classics performed in a Celtic folk stylee intercut or expanded with a hefty clutch of trad reels and jigs. Thus the opening I Fought The Law fires up on fiddle and launches into the Donockley-penned Cockers At Pockers while London Calling segues into Allcock’s Manchster Calling,Teenage Kicks is sandwiched between three trad tunes, including Whisky In The Jar, and a mandolin sprung, spoken God Save The Queen heads out down the trad Mountain Road.
The songs lend themselves surprisingly well to the rearrangements and there’s splendid interpretations of PiL’s Rise, the Jam’s Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (bringing out the bleakness of the lyrics), Once In A Lifetime and even Kraftwerk’s The Model, transfigured here into a moody mandolin and pipes lament.
And, just to reaffirm they’re not a one-trick novelty, the title track is their arrangement of a rousingly fiery set of four trad tunes that embraces Coppers & Brass and Rip The Calico in a manner guaranteed to get any folk fest crowd bouncing along. Apparently they also do a great version of All Around My Hat. As a punk number. The album title, by the way, comes from the traditional numeric phrase used to count sheep by shepherds in northern England and southern Scotland. Thought you'd like to know.