JAMES FINDLAY – Sport And Play (Fellside Recordings FECD238)


James Findley Album review

James Findlay

In 2009 James Findlay won the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and rightly so on the strength of this recording.

Fellside Recordings is fast becoming the ‘British’ version of America’s Green Linnet record company.  The astute Paul Adams catches yet another rising ‘folk-star’ for his ever burgeoning roster of excellence.

Let’s not beat about the bush here, Findlay’s vocal approach may not be to everyone’s taste but striking it is, particularly if you happen to like your folk music a little bit…shall we say ‘idiosyncratic’.

By definition, the mere mention of the words ‘folk singer’ conjures for many a picture of a wizened old geezer propping up the bar in a local hostelry brandishing a pewter tankard and with his finger firmly stuck in his ear whilst bellowing out the ‘hits’ of yesterday.

I’m pleased to say that in this case we can forgo that scenario and be thankful that the youth of today are quite happy to delve into the back catalogue of the dusty Child ballads as did the likes of Fairport and Steeleye Span before them.

In a display of opulence with artistic merits in both instrumental and vocal performance that would, I’m sure be met with approval by his own heroes Nic Jones and the sadly departed Tony Rose young Findlay measures up well with engaging renditions of classics including “Tam Lin”, “Sorry The Day I Was Married” and “Foggy Dew”.

Personally speaking I’m glad that on the shoulders of one so young a maturity and respect in giving credit where credit’s due by acknowledging the original sources (not something I believe has been taken on board by other young whippersnappers) will gain him a legion of ‘folk’ fans…and hopefully beyond. Watch this space!

James Findlay

PETE FYFE