Holy Moly and the Crackers – First Avenue
Raggle Taggle Gipsy Folk Music that will make you dance like a fool
Well; this has been a pleasant surprise way beyond my wildest imaginings!
Folk music and especially Celtic Folk generally leaves me non-plussed as I generally find the protagonists a bit too serious for my liking; but Holy Moly and the Crackers have made me a believer.
A delicious female voice (Ruth Patterson) immediately caught my attention on the opening track Bluebell Wood and when the rest of the band throw their lot in with an array of acoustic instruments I was smitten.
FIRST AVENUE has tunes a’ plenty and the vocals are shared by the afore mentioned fiddle and cello playing Ruth and Conrad Bird who sounds like a bit of a rascal whenever he takes to the microphone. The songs are all full of rustic charm and cover the usual folk subjects –wine, whisky, women and the sea but all with a modern slant.
Comfort in Lies has gone straight onto my MP3 Player favourite list as Ruth’s voice sounds like melting chocolate while she appears to be ending a relationship by taking Comfort in Lies and ‘closing her eyes.’
Conrad takes lead vocals on Blind Man Jack with Ruth supplying harmonies and fiddle playing that’s as good as anything I’ve heard this side of Stephane Grappelli with Rosie Bristow supplying some really audacious piano-accordion in the background.
It’s a similar story with Devil and the Danube which could easily become the Devil Went Down to Georgia of the Folk world; as the band tells a humorous tale that’s not a million miles away from the Robert Johnson legend but played out to a romantic Raggle Taggle Gipsy Folk beat that will surely become an anthem in years to come.
Holy Moly and the Crackers are a young quartet from the Bohemian Quarter of Newcastle and remind me of the early days of the Waterboys, Pogues and The Men They Couldn’t Hang and they have all the qualities to be as big as all of them.