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Oysterband – Diamonds On The Water | FESTIVALPHOTO

Oysterband – Diamonds On The Water



Oysterband's last album was a collaboration with June Tabor, "Ragged Kingdom" and was their second collaboration with her - the first being for 1990's "Freedom and rain". After a couple of years touring with her to support that album, including an appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival, the band have recorded a new album - "Diamonds on the water". It's actually their first album of new songs since 2007, so fans are sure to be keen to hear this new album. It's also the first album since Ray “Chopper” Cooper left the band to pursue a solo career

The album has a number of guests joining the band - Singer John Jones said “As usual we recorded in Brighton, where we can draw on the skills of many friends, quite an impressive bunch actually” - including Adrian Oxaal, “a Brighton mate”, former lead guitarist with the band James, but also a fine cellist. Adrian will be appearing on the album tours. Rowan Godel, who often sings on John’s ‘walking tours’, came in and added “an emotional vulnerability” to some songs as well as “an uninhibited quality when she soars”. Lindsey Oliver played double bass “to give us that warmth and swing at the bottom end”. Ex-Oysterband drummer Lee Partis even dropped in and added his distinctive high harmonies to a couple of tracks, and Pete Davison (trumpet), Eira Owen (French horn) and Sarah Leeves (euphonium) contributed splashes of brass.

"A clowns heart" has more of a folk than folk-rock feel, although it really sits somewhere between the two, and is an excellent start to the album.

"Palace of memory" is definitely folk-rock rather than folk with the drums and electric guitar driving the brisk pace. It's a great song but not the best on the album.

With songs such as "Steal away" there's a lot of group singing on the chorus, so rather than one singer with some backing vocals you get more of a choir effect with a really rich sound that works really well.

A great folk album that's highly recommended.

"Diamonds On The Water" will be released on 17th February 2014 on Navigator records

Track listing:

1. A clown's heart
2. A river runs
3. Spirit of dust
4. Lay your dreams down gently
5. Diamonds on the water
6. The wilderness
7. Palace of memory
8. Once I had a sweetheart
9. No ordinary girl
10. Call you friend
11. Steal away
12. Like a swimmer in the ocean

Writer: Anthony May
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