Reviews

Essex Folk News:

"The album's sleeve notes tell us that the band aimed for the spirit and style of contempory merry makings and this they have, in my view been successful. The tunes are played with life and vigour and the songs, all sung by Sue, rendered in a simple, uncomplicated style. And there is plenty of good stuff here. I particularly enjoyed the Marfull/Stringers Hornpipes set and Red Pettycoat/Dukes hornpipes Clare did not have much time for apostrophes!) are indeed "funky, not to say addictive, hornpipes" (Not Clare's words, I hasten to add). As to the songs, Wars Alarms, which tell the age-old tale of a maiden bewailng the departure of her beloved to the wars, is here rendered with just the right amount of pathos.

"I very much enjoyed this album. It delivers so much more than excerpts from John Clare's extensive collection and does so in a way that gives and indication of how the material may have sounded to John Clare's ears, albeit that the duet concertina was not around during his lifetime! The Decent Scrapers are to be congratulated on producing this fine CD."

Malcom Woods


Mardles:

"This is a must-have for all John Clare enthusiasts. It is also worth buying for anyone who likes a rattling good tune played in a no-nonsense style, interspersed with some unique songs sung in a delicate and sympethetic way. Lovely stuff!

Mary Humphreys

A Poem

Here is a poem written by Robin Edgar after our performance at the John Clare Festival 2017

I Was

I was. Yet what I was
Now occupies the world
My rhymes and songs
Of flowers, fields and birds
Are passed about and heard…
Beneath the summer cushions
Where I lie
I hear the chancel ring
With Decent Scrapers
Celebrating
Poor John Clare.
I was, yet strangely now
I am once more.

Helpston Church
July 13, 2017

We found this most moving. It caught the spirit of what we were trying to do far better than we ever could.

Sadly this was to be the last poem Robin uploaded as he died shortly after.

You can find this and more poems by Robin at Robin Edgar Poems and Verse

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