‘Upon A Painted Ocean’ by Admirals Hard - shanties and maritime songs with inimitable style

(May 30, 2016)

There are numerous bands ripping out English sea shanties, some add their own take to the genre, while others are content to replay the standard ‘traditional’ approach. Some bands find themselves under a spotlight, others remain largely unknown. The latest band to come under the FolkWords spotlight is Admirals Hard with their debut Upon A Painted Ocean album coveralbum ‘Upon A Painted Ocean’. This seven-piece, with members garnered from various rock and avant-garde folk bands, delivers sea shanties and traditional maritime folk songs, each given an inimitable style along the way ... doubtless the traditionalists will recognise all, some may enjoy the difference.

Moving through the more usual acapella-rendered shanties, Admirals Hard also add electric guitars, harmonium, hurdy-gurdy, melodeon, hammered dulcimer and harmonium to the mix. ‘Upon A Painted Ocean’ is a collection of sea songs and songs about the sea in its broadest sense. They display the calibre of their unaccompanied voices with ‘Boney Was A Warrior’ and the ribald ‘Blow The Man Down’, they then range from a blast of ‘South Australia’ and the jaunty ‘The Broadside Man’ before delivering their take on ‘The Eddystone Light’,then for good measure throwing in a tune set with ‘The Random Jug/ I’ll Get Wedded In My Auld Claes’ anda rousing couplet of ‘Whip Jamboree/ Let The Bulgine Run’. The album launches on 23rd July at The Islington, London, which promises to be a good night, hopefully increasing the recognition this band deserves.

Admirals Hard are Andy Carne (lead vocal) Daniel Chudley-Le Corre (electric bass guitar, vocal) James Larcombe (melodeon, hurdy-gurdy, harmonium, vocal) Richard Larcombe (guitar, vocal, harmonium) Sarah Measures (vocal, flute) Kavus Torabi (acoustic, electric guitars, mandolin, percussion, vocal) and Paul Westwood (hammered dulcimer, harmonium, vocal).

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Review: Tim Carroll

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