‘Live on The Ley’ - Alastair Caplin, Jez Hellard, Nathan Ball, Nye Parsons & Scott Cook - simply stunning(May 04, 2015)
Opening with the sound of talking a dog (yes really) introducing the band ‘Live On The Lay’ features the talents of Alastair Caplin, Jez Hellard, Nathan Ball, Nye Parsons and Scott Cook playing and singing to a select audience in the welcoming setting of St. Dunstan's House, Glastonbury. The result is a live concert piped directly into your own home, complete with the expected banter, spontaneous musical interplay, occasional missed notes and unrestrained interaction between audience and artists.
The selection of music is quite frankly stunning, from ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ through Scott Cook’s eloquently touching ‘Song for a Pilgrim’, the acid-sharp observations of Nathan Ball’s ‘McDonald’s for the Mind’ to a soaring interpretation of ‘Atlas Tango’, this is an album of exceedingly good music delivered in a remarkably expressive and entirely intimate way. Throughout an enticing mix of jazz, classical and folk thread a musical extravagance that holds the audience rapt and it’s easy to understand why - listen to the anguish of ‘When We’re Back Around’, the sparkle of a solo violin on ‘Esplanada De Graça’, the mellow warmth and essential truth of ‘New Grist’ or ‘Footprints’ and you’ll find that you’re held too
In case you’re interested, ‘the talking dog’ results from the room being too small for the musicians and Sam Welbourne on the mixing desk, which were relegated to an upstairs landing out of sight and earshot. The only way for performers and recording engineer to communicate was through a speaker located behind Alastair’s sleeping dog, so Sam’s clearly ‘Muppet influenced’ dog-voice appeared to come from the dog. I guess you had to be there but the opening few seconds has an attraction all its own.
As part of the package ‘Live on The Ley’ comes with a sumptuous tri-fold case including articles from Jez Hellard and Scott Cook, a twenty-page lyric book with original artwork and outstanding colour photography. The album's official release date is 9 June – find out more here: live-on-the-ley
Reviewer: Tim Carroll