Album review: Stick In The Wheel – Follow Them True

PUBLISHED: 18:49 30 January 2018

Stick in the Wheel

Stick in the Wheel

Archant

Unlike any folk band you’ve heard before, the ‘Wheel take the genre into exciting new territories

Deconstructing the English folk we have known for centuries, this east London outfit’s second album has one foot planted firmly in masterful, finger-picked tradition, the other in exciting, cross-pollinating new ground.

Singer Nicola Kearey makes the most of her gritty, Bow Bells authenticity when it suits – be it the Dickensian, thieving japery described in White Copper Alley, laden with fiddle and flute, the story-as-song Blind Beggar Of Bethnal Green or the solo call, group-sung response of Poor Old Horse.

But peppered between these and the traditional jig of Abbots Bromley Horn Dance are the fresh shoots of a contemporary folk style not afraid to experiment or push the envelope.

Kearey’s calls are fed through Autotune to give the morose title track extra bite, or remotely-miked on 100,000 Years to impart an ominous power, amplifying its foreboding atmosphere.

Their crowning achievement here is As I Roved Out, the closing number that marries gloaming synths with rapid castanet-like claps as Kearey’s spectral voice evinces a cult ritual.

Follow Them True finds a folk band neither in thrall to, nor weighed down by, the genre’s conventions.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Hampstead & Westminster handed out a lesson to the students of Exeter as they made it five straight wins in the Premier Division in sunny Devon.

The Spurs manager admitted his team suffered ‘a little bit more’ than he would have liked during today’s derby with West Ham

FA Cup fourth qualifying round: Haringey Borough 2 Poole Town 1

The Hammers huffed and puffed but couldn’t beat Hugo Lloris

Sarries made it two out of two in their Champions Cup campaign.

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview this week. The talented 26-year-old invited Layth to his house for an in-depth discussion on a wide-ranging number of issues as the star prepares to launch his first soccer school at the end of this month. Read on for more...

West Ham United Hammers midfielder Jack Wilshere says there is far more to come from Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season.

Yesterday, 17:52

Community groups are celebrating after the owners of the “landmark” Alliance pub in West Hampstead had planning permission for extensive remodelling and redevelopment refused.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now