Album review: NOTHING CONCRETE – The Haberdasher’s Voyage

NOTHING CONCRETE – The Haberdasher’s Voyage

Round Flat Music [Release date 01.04.21]

Nothing Concrete are a six-piece international band (featuring two French members, one English, one Scot, one Italian and one Belgian) is based in the countryside of the French Pyrenees- sometimes compared to Ronnie Lane’ s ‘getting back to nature-gypsy, travelling circus’ Passing Show lifestyle. Nothing Concrete’s main man is Fergus McKay and the band playing a mix of folk, swing, jazz and Americana.

The songs are a wonderful jamboree of styles, covering vampires on ‘Sit Tight’; a fast folk flurry on ‘Provolone’ and some top notch bar room piano playing on ‘I Need Money’.

Nothing Concrete even rework the traditional nursery rhyme ‘There’s A Hole In My Bucket’ on ‘Dear Liza’ and it works really well. Interestingly the band steer clear of that folk staple ‘Trad. Arr.’, instead relying on the songwriting of Fergus McKay and it certainly pays off throughout the course of the album.

Swing is the thing on ‘Fine Desolation’. One thing about Nothing Concrete you can certainly not accuse them of recycling the same musical ideas over and over again.

Definitely a band to catch live when live music returns, as the majority of songs on the album have a lively way about them. They apparently even have a puppet who joins in with the audience at their shows!

A big top full of musical surprises and delights, Nothing Concrete will appeal to lovers of lively roots based music. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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