Folk Against Fascism came into being after it became apparent that the BNP was encouraging it’s members to insinuate themselves into traditional British music and customs. This double CD set is the first in a planned series of three double albums. The artists feature all support Folk Against Fascism in their work to shut out the BNP.
Firstly , what a great deal - 31 tracks on two CDs for £10, and an excellent selection of music, too. Some of the artists are well known on the folk scene, others less so, a perfect combination for a compilation, and a great way of discovering new artists.
This CD set also offers a great introduction to the “scene” for the non-folkie. There are still those who think that folk music is for and by bearded men with one finger in their ear. This CD will serve to dispel that myth. Many of the artists featured also took part in the FAF Village Fete (where the CD was launched) at the Southbank and the Nowt as Queer as Folk event at Cecil Sharp House over the Mayday bank holiday.
While some of the songs are overtly political (Chris Woods’ Spitfires, Chumbawamba/No Masters Co-op’s Dance Idiot Dance, The Imagined Village’s England Half English), others are just great folk songs or tunes. The material covers a wide range of styles, from the pared down style of Shirley and Dolly Collins on Two Brethren, to the multi-layered complexity of the “big bands”, Blowzabella and Bellowhead.
The names Roy Bailey and Christy Moore will be familiar to many, but the Bevvy Sisters (more mid-40s than folk) will be new names, and worth investigating further. There are many more treats on this album too.
This compilation is definite proof that the British Folk Scene is alive and kicking and won’t let itself by hijacked by the far right.