Pic By Andy Fairbairn
“I Saw You Blink” By Stornoway
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There are some cynical critics who may dismiss Stornoway as yet another band attempting to emulate the recent success of Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling et all in dragging folk music out of real ale tents and into the mainstream. For these young troubadours have proven that folk is no longer purely the preserve of epically bearded gentlemen clad in Aran sweaters and misguided trousers, ever ready to insert a finger in one ear and break into song. However to accuse Stornoway of scrambling aboard any perceived nu-folk bandwagon would seem somewhat churlish given the genuine quality displayed throughout their excellent debut album “The Beachcomber’s Windowsill”. True, it does have a definite folksy vibe and all the usual suspects are in evidence, acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, xylophone, trumpet and cello but Stornoway manage to produce a sound that is quite unique, due in no small part to the pitch perfect, cherubic vocals of lead singer Brian Briggs.
It’s the sheer wide eyed exuberance that makes this debut album impossible to dislike, brimming with tunes that manage to wistfully evoke childhood memories of good old fashioned, ruddy faced outdoor fun. Indeed ‘We Are the Battery Humans’, points out that we weren’t designed to stay indoors on fine summer days, huddled over computers, slaves to the technology that ostensibly was designed to “liberate us”- “we were born to be free range”.
Other tracks such as “ Zorbing “Fuel Up” and “I Saw You Blink” , all have that same sense of wanderlust, freedom and adventure, whilst ‘The Coldharbour Road’ twinkles and shimmers like a midsummer sun glinting off a gently undulating sea.” The Beachcombers Windowsill” ultimately triumphs because it contains songs which are unpretentious and imbued with a joyous giddy sense of youthful optimism which is quite infectious.
Original review for Faux Magazine (Page 48)
“Zorbing” By Stornoway