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Album: Spiers & Boden, Vagabond, (Navigator)

John Spiers and Jon Boden are long-standing Eliza Carthy collaborators and the agents behind the uproarious folk big band, Bellowhead. This is their fifth album and as such is a chip off the old back catalogue: fiddle/guitar and squeeze boxes framing obscure, sometimes elliptical narratives from the folk hoard, sung with compelling vigour by Boden and kicked along with a far from hoary virility.

Despite a slight superfluity of instrumentals, they sound like denizens of the 21st century. Which is just one reason why the record's good. Another is the material, which is dark round the edges, if not at its heart.