Only a few minutes in and it’s clear…this group is really on to something. 422 have done it again: bringing to the forefront of the folk scene a set of ten tracks which confirm the band’s growing success following three previously released albums and of course a well-deserved win in 1999 at the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. ’Go Forth’, released on 13 September 2010, confirms the band’s popularity as both a concert and a ceilidh band with their latest collection of tantalising tunes.
The band, based in the North of England, delight listeners with global influences (including Scotland, Scandinavia, Ireland and North America) moulded perfectly around the English tradition and making for something rather special. The album builds upon the band’s previous releases, exploring further their relationship as accomplished musicians but staying true to an audience to whom a memorable tune and a good dancey feel here and there are always welcome.
Yet it is really no surprise that 422 are as hot in the dance tent as they are on stage, with crisp rhythms and beautiful melodies encouraging even the most timid toe-tapper to take a polka around the room. The attention to detail by each of the musicians brings with it a delightful complexity to satisfy a diverse audience. The multi-instrumentalists at work here produce a delicious blend of guitar, viola, fiddles, accordion and whistles, teasing the listener - especially in ’Rocking Chair Jigs’ - with delicate duets that spiral into melodies you’ll be sure to be whistling into next week.
The contrast between gentle and more lively tracks complement each musician’s ability to play with the emotion needed to indulge the listener in their flawless handling of dream-like solos and duets - particularly in ’Sitting in the Stern of a Boat’. ’Popcorn Behaviour’ stands out equally in showcasing the strings in one of their finest hours; the partnership between the two seems effortless. Tunes sit on unique backdrops of trilling whistles (amongst other techniques) creating a layered effect to the sound produced and charming listeners with such commendable creativity. The original and often unexpected harmonies used throughout the album are a refreshing reminder of the impact such a musical device can have on the overall character of an album.
So ’Go Forth’…and have a listen. If you’re a fan of traditional music that’s sharp, elegant, and innovative, then you’re in for a real treat.