Threepenny Bit – Pantomime Cannon – Little Folk Records (LFR103)

Threepenny Bit - folk music album review

Threepenny Bit

Threepenny Bit are an eight piece folk and ceilidh band who are based in Hampshire and Pantomime Cannon is their third album release.

They have been very active on the Folk Festival circuit in 2014 and if the CD is anything to go on they must have a great stage presence.

I suppose that when you have an eight piece band, you have to target your performance toward the large audience that folk festivals pull throughout the summer in the UK.

The album attempts to recapture the feeling of the live performances, the musicianship is of high quality, the choice of material is varied and the arrangements and production is excellent.

The overall impression of the band is definitely leaning towards The Old Dance School or Bellowhead without the huge brass section.

The CD is totally instrumental and as such is well thought out and presented, however by four tunes in, I am longing to hear a song or two, to break up the tracks and give some relief from the jigs and reels. Although being a musician myself, I always have difficulty remembering reels and for some reason they all start to sound the same after a short span of time.

They are a great ceilidh band but a song or two wouldn’t go amiss.

I realise that possibly this review will be out of step with others which the CD receives but whilst acknowledging the huge amount of thought, skill and effort that has gone into the project for me it is missing ‘something’.

If you have seen or danced to Threepenny Bit at a festival during 2014, you will have undoubtabley been treated to some great live music. The CD will be a fantastic way to take a little piece of the performance away with you to be enjoyed at home and bring back some memories.

To to uninitiated, it’s hard to carry the first time listener along through a totally instrumental album, even The Shadows used to sing on a few tracks..

Buy the Pantomime Cannon album next time you see the band live.


Alan Morley
UK Folk Music