The Double Cross
(Magna Carta, 2006)

This is folk-rock with attitude. Think of Steeleye Span updated to the 21st century with original songs in the traditional vein, and you have an idea of what to expect.

I am at a slight disadvantage in reviewing because the insert appears to have gotten wet in transit -- during the tempest? -- and I lost about half the information. From what I can see it appears that most if not all the tracks on offer are composed by the band. In particular, they stem from the pen of piratical viking Lief Sorbye, with some by Mullen and Cap.

"The Hangman" takes a new look at the old traditional "Prickly Bush" with a new tune added. The heavy beat adds to the song greatly. "Black Eddy," a medley of tunes including a march and polkas, follows. These must be powerful in live performance. Play it loud for greatest effect.

The array of instruments on offer over 10 tracks includes the usual plus bagpipes and didgeridoo.

"Whoever You Are" takes the pace back a little -- but only a little; the driving beat is always present. This is a more thoughtful song and is one of my favourites here. Another close contender is the compelling "Per Spelman."

An added bonus for the computer owners on this album is a video of the making of the album with some nice performance pieces.

If you like your music Celtic, loud and lively, this is the album for you. Put it on, turn it up and stand well back.

by Nicky Rossiter
20 January 2007

Buy it from Amazon.com.