An exceptionally impressive folk band with bags and bags of energy and verve and definitely without any of the usual hackneyed, stereotypical gubbins that seems to plague folk bands.

They got together in 1988, just after the break-up of The Happy End - Mat Fox, one of the original line-up for that was present at the beginning of this (he played the hammer dulcimer which he also played for The Happy End), along with Sarah Allen (played the accordion and the flute), Richard Avison (played the trombone), Paul Hookham (played the drums), Alison Jones (played the fiddle), Alice Kinlock (played the tuba), Keith Moore (also played the tuba), Chris Thompson (the man on the banjo - and very, very impressive he was too) and Tim Walmsley (played the drums) - they all sang, I think. There were usually about seven in the band, with people leaving and arriving along the way.

They produced four albums before splitting up in 1993: The Big Beat (1990); Don't Mind Walking (Even if it Looks Like Rain) (1991); and Glow (1992) - there's a 'Best of Album' (1995) kicking about too.

They did some great stuff. And 'folk' is not, really, a suitably encompassing term, although it works as a sort of shorthand I guess. Their version of 'Byker Hill' was excellent, as was 'Old Joe Clark' (my favourite), 'As A Thoiseach', and 'Stand Together' and all their compilations of traditional folk tunes were energetic, fast and great fun. (If anyone knows what 'Tropical Hotdog Night' was about, I'd be very interested to hear... 'Two flamingoes in a fruit fight'? - What?!)

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