Review Archive

‘In Time’ from Pete Robinson and Dave Mather - captivating melodies and compelling hooks

(September 02, 2013)

Salford natives Pete Robinson and Dave Mather possess a musical heritage that stretches across the years. Now they've released ‘In Time’ a collection of In Timefolk-tales and history-inspired songs that trace a convoluted path across England’s history from the 13th to the 21st centuries. Their own journey may not have taken so long but on the way they’ve touched opera, rock, pop and now they’re back to their folk roots. That voyage through music is reflected in the captivating melodies and compelling hooks that permeate their songs. 

The album opens with ‘Agincourt’ – the apotheosis of the English longbow defeating the French in 1415. It’s a powerful ‘from-the-heart’ song with tough lyrics that tell it as it was, and naturally, nothing sets English hearts beating like a bit of French-bashing – Crecy, Poitiers and of course Agincourt. The next stop in this musical time-travel is 1588 with the stirring song ‘Armada’ - this time the English are fending off the Spanish as Good Queen Bess and her navy beat up Phillip of Spain and the Duke of Medina Sedonia - with more than a little help from the weather.

The splendid songwriting wellspring on this album continues to pour out treasures like ‘The Carpenter’s Apprentice’, complete with seaborne sound effects, and the totally engaging ‘When Our Ship Sails In’ - inspired melody, engrossing hook, dazzling flute accents - a definite folk anthem in the making.

The ‘In Time’ experience continues with songs about mid-nineteenth century weavers, the trenches of The Great War, the Roaring Twenties, unrequited love and longing in the 1970’s, lunatic eco-warriors and local pubs. There’s no DeLorean, Tardis or Wellsian time-travelling device that could take you so many places through time with the same level of genuineness as these songs. I haven’t identified so strongly with the essence of an album for a long time. You can find ‘In Time’ here: mather-robinson.bandcamp.com and trust me, you should.

On ‘In Time’ Dave Mather (vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar) Pete Robinson (vocals, acoustic guitar, octave mandolin) are ably aided by Anthony Quinn (flutes, whistles) Nick Bolan (programming) and Chris Mather (electric guitars, and just about everything else).

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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