Album review: BUSH GOTHIC – Beyond the Pale

BUSH GOTHIC – Beyond the Pale

Website [Release date 29.07.22]

Beyond The Pale is the third album from Bush Gothic, an Australian folk three piece consisting of Jenny M Thomas (vocals, fiddle), Chris Lewis (drums) and Dan Witton (double bass & vocals). Bush Gothic are a band on a mission as they aim to revive and revitalise traditional Australian folk music, which to be fair this reviewer hasn’t heard much of in the many years I have been listening to folk music.

Opening the album is the tale of Jim Jones, a convict who dreamt of revenge and joining the bushrangers to wreak havoc upon the British government who had incarcerated him. The Lonely String Quartet further enhance the song’s sound.

‘Pub With No Beer’ is adapted from the poem by Dan Sheahan who went to a hotel in north Queensland in 1943 only to find the US serviceman had drank all of the beer. One a band like Bellowhead would have great fun adapting.

Jenny Thomas’s vocals are a key part and attraction of Bush Gothic, particularly on the quieter moments such as ‘The London Convict Maid’ and her singing on ‘Road To Gundagai’ (named as one of the top 30 Australian songs of all time by the Australian Performing Rights Association) is sublime.

Stick with the album as it has plenty to offer just not always on the first couple of listens. Easy to see why they are so well regarded in their homeland and they are set to make inroads into the wider folk scene with this album. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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