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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Alun Parry Review

With being a Liverpudlian myself I felt it was about time to look closer to home to find what talent was hitting the folk scene. Liverpool does not seem to have quite as strong a folk connection as places like Shropshire but it is still up there. Liverpool does have a rich musical history generally a very strong Celtic influence from the old days of the ports. 

Whilst exploring one of the recent Fatea Showcases I noticed the name of Alun Parry and I was certain that it was a name I recognised, but I simply could not place where.  After listening to the song ‘If Harry Don’t Go’ and absolutely loving it. I felt that Alun deserved more exploring so I requested some CDs to take a look at.

It’s only after doing a bit of digging that I have realised why the name is familiar. Alun was the organiser for a Liverpool festival called ‘Liverpool Working Class Music Festival that ran from 2008-2011, not to mention he was also a big deal during Liverpool’s 2008 stint as Capital of Culture.
There is a lot more that Alun has accomplished so to find out more about him he does have a lengthy Wikipedia entry (I assume its all true Alun!) and his website

I think for me the real gold nugget of Alun’s music is that he has taken the traditional singer songwriting folk style but created three albums worth of something new. Each song is specially crafted and many are even full of modern and Liverpudlian references (‘You Are My Addiction’).
Each song is crafted separately with precision and this really helps each song to be special and not just as a tool to get another album out.

Alun has a great singing voice which is clearly perfectly matched with his song writing. He clearly has great moral and political ideas and this coupled with his vocals gives him a wonderful outlet. All three of his albums, ‘Corridors of Stone’, ‘We Can Make the World Stop’ and ‘When the Sunlight Shines’ really get across strong concepts and get you thinking as well as being very pleasant to the ears. 

Folk music of course has always been used as a political voice so it is nice that modern artists are re capturing this use for our changing modern times, particularly ‘Oh Mr Cameron’ but really the majority of his songs could be explored for some elements.  Alun reminds me in many ways of Damh the Bard in his variation of great songs just for the sake of them and for political and social messages. As well as his serious undertones there are some great lighter songs such as ‘The Ship Song’ and ‘Thursday Night Drinking Song’. Alun even mixes humour with his messages as the previously mentioned ‘Oh Mr Cameron’ is just hilarious and silly (with a kazoo solo to boot) as well as being completely serious.

I really enjoyed all three albums and Mr Parry deserves all of the recognition he gets, now I know he is on the Liverpool circuit I will certainly be keeping my eyes (and ears) open.

I keep putting ‘Oh Mr Cameron’ on repeat, makes me smirk every time!


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