Nick Burbridge – lead vocal
Molly Burbridge – backing vocal
Ben Paley – fiddle
Tim Cotterell – mandolin
Dil Davies (Oysterband) – drums
Jeremy Cunningham (Levellers) – bass
Clare Sanders – whistle
Al Scott – guitars
McDermott’s 2 Hours has given us an antidepressant with Anticlockwise which is their ‘Best of’ compilation album. It signals the band’s creative growth up to the new track Erin Farewell. The cover art with the devil and a bunch of naked people should give you a hint what’s to come. Songwriter and guitarist Nick Burbridge (who also formed this band) has a kind of creativity that I would describe as erratic and explosive. He is the type of artist who is fearless in executing his ideas whither you like them or not. And that spontaneity coupled with raw energy can be found all over Anticlockwise. Newcomers to their music will find great stuff to be remembered here, now that the best songs in their entire catalog are here-and new ones too.
Instrumentally, Anticlockwise is as lush as a good harvest. Vocally it’s blessed with his good vocal range ( and smooth tenor) that can be fiery one moment and then restrained the next. World Turned Upside Down is a personal favorite with its Gregorian inspired intro. The contrapuntal singing style gives us that renaissance feel.
So what can I say about this new release of Nick Burbridge’s band? I’m a fan of Nick and it is hard to be objective when you are a fan. And it is a good thing because music is a personal experience and I think whatever touches can never be questioned. The over all vibe of Anticlockwise is live. The order of the tracks are well-chosen to suit the progression of the mood. The mix is also warm. It’s like after every song, you can hear the audience applauding. Tod the Ranter is another favorite because of the steady hypnotic rhythm. A Fable from Aigge falls into the sean nos style of singing. It shows how flexible the voice of Burbridge is. It also displays the eclecticism of this album.
Molloy goes back to the times when Ireland was struggling for independence. This reminds me of a lot of songs by Planxty in their earlier albums. River is a foot tapper. I love the beat and the way these fiddles create a sort of wispy cloak of sound that transports you into a beautiful and dreamy place. it is true that the word save the best for last applies to great albums. All In Your Name closes Anticlockwise with such intensity that I felt my neurons were being assaulted by blue lightning.
Anticlockwise is a sensual trickster of an album. A playful devil with an immaculate smile. Beautifully conceived, exquisitely performed by the musicians involved and yes….embellished by artistry of Nick Burbridge.
Know more here: http://www.burbridgearts.org/