Spiers & Boden: Fallow Floor evaluate – a stroll on the brilliant aspect
This is an album that, in accordance with Jon Boden, “might properly get us expelled from the English People Dance & Tune Society” – the offence being that it comprises no songs about demise. Recorded throughout lockdown, when Boden and co-creator John Spiers have been on the lookout for “enjoyable and lightweight aid”, Fallow Floor is notable for its levity and, sure, joyousness. As its title suggests, the document marks a return to earlier instances, when the duo – Boden on fiddle and vocals, Spiers on accordion – first made their title. Most of their power has since been directed into people massive band Bellowhead, whereas Boden has delivered a dystopic prog-folk tune cycle, Songs from the Floodplain, amongst a dizzying line of tasks.
By comparability, Fallow Floor is archly conventional, its numbers drawn from vintage sources, augmented by a clutch of originals. Many items are boisterous instrumentals – jigs, hornpipes, waltzes – with fiddle and accordion bleeding into one another and morris-friendly rhythms cannily captured. Elsewhere, Boden brings his normal depth to songs starting from the love name of the title monitor to Reynardine, which is death-free however laden with shape-shifting menace. It’s all exquisitely performed – the pair are nonetheless the dons.
Spiers & Boden tour the UK from 28 September to 24 October