Track Listing

Well, here we all are again at long last for a third tasting session from the musical melting pot that is The Committee Band. We don't care where the tunes come from -- England, Scotland, Italy, Sweden, France, America, Northolt -- so long as they're good enough to become Ohrwurm (look it up). If we get really desperate we've even been known to write our own tunes, which at least means there are no arguments (oh, the joys of being a committee) about exactly which version to play. Unless there's a bit we don't like, obviously, in which case we change it. That's what we call music.

Are you all sitting comfortably? Good, then I'll begin...

1. Last Train to Northolt (M-J Searle) / The Elephant's Foot (M-J Searle) / The Royal Review (trad) / Isabella Robertson (trad) 32 bar slip jigs

Last Train to Northolt and The Elephant's Foot (named after a device for cleaning pipettes, not Dioscorea elephantipes) were written by M-J to alleviate a world shortage of good slip jigs. The Royal Review is in the Chappell collection (but we found it via the Noteworthy Composer music notation software newsgroup), Isabella Robertson is another Scottish fiddle tune dug up by M-J.

2. Croft's Jig (W. Croft) / The Parson in Boots (trad) 32 bar jigs

Hilda spotted the first tune whilst listening to The City Waites. Composed in 1700 by William Croft, the original title is “Jig from Sonata in G for recorder and basso continuo”, so we're just doing what we're told for once. The Parson in Boots is in the Aird collection -- actually the full name of the tune is “the Parson in his Boots”, but that rather spoils the image of an 18th century Scottish parson queuing up in the chemist for something to cure a nasty rash...

3. Vasen (K-E. Eriksson, arr. TCB) 32 bar hopstep

This tune from Hoven Droven (“Helter Skelter”, a fabulous traditional heavy metal Swedish folk band) had to be mangled to fit the dance because Nick doesn't know any 35 bar hopsteps, apologies to Kjell-Erik – but I doubt he'll complain, their sleeve notes say he really needs the money! The opening crash is best played on 4 cymbals by 2 drummers (Rob and Jay) each with 2 sticks in each hand, and is best listened to at Towersey in the concert tent 400m away.

4. Da Pearl Wedding (W. Taylor) / Miss Gayton's (trad) 32 bar reels

Da Pearl Wedding is a Shetland-y reel written by Willie Taylor and played by the Shepherds, so close your eyes and try and imagine we're a Shetland fiddle orchestra. Miss Gayton's was a well-known hornpipe (Kerr's Merry Melodies Volume 1) until Wizzard Wheeze (Gordon and Diane's old band) put a rocket up it, so now it's a well-known reel.

5. Bal Frances (trad) / Monferrina del Paluc (M. Martinotti) 48 bar jigs

Bal Frances comes from the traditional dance musicians in the village of Ponte Caffaro in Brescia, and is used during Carnivale for one of their longways duple minor masked dances, says Gordon.

Monferrina del Paluc was written by one of La Ciapa Rusa for friends at the Hostaria del Paluc in Alessandria (closed Mon/Tue, speciality risotti, no cards, http://tinyurl.com/2ws6o8 )

6. Lovely Nancy (trad) / En Avant Blonde (trad) 32 bar waltzes

Lovely Nancy is probably an English waltz, or it might be French. En Avant Blonde is definitely French and came from Marc Perrone's first album, allegedly recorded when he'd only been playing melodeon for six months. Maybe a month is longer in France, being metric or something.

All together now (chantez si vous connez les mots):

En avant blonde, t’as le coeur tendre,

Vient donc m’apprendre à bien danser,

En avant brune, fais ma fortune,

Tu vas m’apprendre à bien valser.

7. Silver Street Lasses (trad) 32 bar hopstep

An unusual relative of The Cuckoo's Nest found by trawling through every last one of Michael Raven's One Thousand English Country Dance Tunes. After lots of arguments about misprints and accidentals, dotting it, and adding Rob's mighty backbeat, we ended up with this, which may or may not be similar to the original, if there is such a thing in folk music.

8. The Duke of York's Camp (trad) / Lady Elizabeth Cole (trad) 32 bar jigs

So is there something about the Grand Old Duke of York that the nursery rhyme kept quiet about? Or perhaps he got it on with Lady Liz on the quiet, they certainly do make a nice pair. Two Scottish fiddle tunes named after dead people, so a libel suit seems unlikely. WARNING – may only be suitable for dancing in a high-gravity environment, we got a bit carried away in this one.

9. The Drummer (trad) 16 bar hopstep

Originally a reel which can be found in Michael Raven's book (q.v.), we slowed it down to make a mesmeric tune for Nottingham Swing, maybe this makes up for Miss Gayton's acceleration. Tone's ever-inventive bass solos sometimes have the unfortunate effect of giving the band a severe attack of the giggles just before coming back in with the tune...

10. The Queen of Diamonds (trad) / Walnut Whip (H. Dedic) 32 bar jigs

Gordon and Diane found the first tune in an American contradance tune book, wonderful chords but a bit of a pig to play. Hilda wrote the second jig and named it, not after her favourite childhood chocolate, but after a discussion about the wood that a friend's friend's S&M whip was made from. A great finishing set for whipping the audience into a final frenzy.

11. Not the Coleford (trad/TCB) 32 bar backbeat schottische

This started life as the Coleford Jig, which wasn't a jig anyway -- maybe Paul Burgess can explain this? -- even before the noisy boys decided it needed livening up a bit. When they'd finished playing with it the rest of us had to jam along with the result, and Hilda had just got a new sexy silver soprano sax, and the tune kind of got forgotten in all the excitement.


Should you be inescapably infected by one of the above Ohrwurm, Diane suggests that you replace it with something less forgettable like...

Ma-gic mo-ments . . . . Mem'ries we've been sharing “

There now, isn't that better?


In case you were wondering about our watering can obsession, we had a pet one (with wings) which held our on-stage beer for several years (not the same beer, obviously) until it fell out of the back of the van and was never seen again – so this is a sort of tribute album to a sadly-missed old friend.

Surely it's obvious -- third album, three watering cans ?



Marvellous was recorded in May and June 2007 at Woodworm Studios, Oxfordshire. Engineered, mixed and produced by “Marvellous” Mark Tucker