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-  Label: 'Bastard Recordings'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '21st April 2017'

Our Rating:
Like a red rag to a British bulldog, London-based duo Robert 'Hacker' Jessett and Anne Gilpin present an anti-Brexit protest album provocatively celebrating the musical diversity of the European union.

"There are millions of us who consider ourselves as both citizens of the UK and Europe", the couple declare on the sleeve, adding defiantly "And we will not give up fighting to remain so!".

The idea is a simple but effective one, singing in French, German, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and English to make the point that leaving the EU makes no sense in any language.

The theme of exit prompts the choices of Serge Gainsbourg's tearjerker Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M'en Vais (I Came To Tell You That I'm Leaving) and the mid 1970s Spanish hit Porqué Te Vas (Because You're Leaving).

A melancholy mood persists with covers of Marlene Dietrich's plaintive Wenn Ich Mir Was Wünschen Dürfte (If I Could Wish For Something) and Lucio Dalla's intensely poetic Caruso, the latter rendered with delicate precision in the style of Robert Wyatt.

A Tonga Da Mironga Do Kabuleté is a Brazilian song set in Africa which was selected to reflect the diversity of Portugal (and also because the samba rhythms make it a great tune!).

In a similarly exuberant spirit, the record's Eurocentric theme provides a good excuse to include faithful versions of Plastic Bertrand's Ça Plane Per Moi and Kraftwerk's Das Modell.

A traditional Swedish folk song Vem Kan Segla Förutan Vind? (Who can sail without the wind?) is kind of companion piece to Sailor's Return the one original song on the album. This reworks Morton Valence's first-ever single with pertinent lyrics about crossing borders. "No more chaos and disorder, we are sailors on the ocean" - sings Gilpin.

When it comes to Brexit, soft or hard, chance would be a fine thing!

Morton Valence's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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