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Snout - press reviews

Living Tradition, March 2002

'Roger the Badger play excellent dance and ceilidh music from a startling variety of sources. Traditional items from Scotland and Ireland sit comfortably alongside lesser known gems together with newer favourites from Simon Jeffes (yes it's that harmonium tune again), Andy Statman, Johny Harling and others. The sets include reels, jigs, schottisches etc.

'All of them swing along nicely led by the tremendous fiddle of the very talented Cath James. Aided and abetting the above mentioned Cath James are John Fuller on guitar and flute, Peter Rophone on bass, Trevor Thomas on mandolin and harmonica and 'Captain' Trevor Lea the band's enthusiastic caller.

'Together they form a nice tight unit that produces fine arrangements and a very full and enjoyable sound. Whether you just want to listen to the band, hum along or dance around the kitchen. Or whichever room you find yourselves in while this infectious music is playing. This is the stuff for you. 'Snout is a very well produced CD of polished, professional music that also has an abundance of that elusive quality, fun, not easy to convey on studio recordings. I bet they're great live. I really enjoyed this CD and I recommend it to all who appreciate folk dance music played well in an unpretentious and good natured manner'.

Green Man Review, 2002 (Cat Eldridge)

'Who could not like a ceilidh band called Roger the Badger that names its first CD Snout? And the badger on the CD cover is ever so cute! Roger the Badger is Cath James on fiddle, Trev Thomas on mandolin, John Fuller on guitar and flute and Pete Gibbins on bass, with caller Trev Lea. The band says Snout is "a ceilidh in your pocket," and I must agree wholeheartedly that this is great dance music! That the production of the CD was been made possible by a National Lottery grant from the Arts Council of England is enough of a reason to make one a gambler! This is a large and experienced band as the bios from their Web Site show:

[text from the band webpage quoted here]

'A ceilidh band is, at its heart, a dance band. Once upon a time, a ceilidh was simply the term for a house party in Scotland or the North of England, but modern celiedhs are largely like the contra dances in North America -- dance, not conversation or food, is the raison d'etre for these events. (Henry Glassie's Passing the Time in Ballymenone: Culture and History in an Irish Community focuses somewhat on ceilidhs in a small Irish community in the 1970's and early 1980's. In Glassie's book, ceilidhs are primarily for visiting, for good talk, but not generally for music. Sometimes there's music, but the participants aren't focused on music. Scottish ceilidhs seem more focused on both dance and music.) There are, by my figuring, hundreds upon hundreds of ceilidh bands existing today in Scotland and the North of England. And many have as colorful names as Roger the Badger: Peeping Tom, All Blacked Up, The Band With No Name, Batter the Haddock, Bellows, Scratchitt and Pluckitt, Citizen Camembert, Eel Grinders, Malt Kiln Ceilidh Band, and Pigs Ear Ceilidh Band to name but a few!' 'I've listened to Snout at least a dozen times. Each time I'm amazed how good they are. To be honest, they are far better than many "professional" English and Celtic bands that I could mention! What you get for your cash is 15 tracks of uptempo dance music from Ireland, Scotland, England and beyond. You'll find reels, jigs, slip jigs, waltzes and hornpipes plus some truly haunting slow airs. From the two Irish reel that lead off ("McMahon's/Father Kelly's") to the inclusion of Penguin Cafe Orchestra's "Music for a Found Harmonium," this is a ceilidh band that struts its stuff very well! (A few week ago, the Irish Traditional Music list had a somewhat bitter debate over the validity of "Music for a Found Harmonium" as a Celtic tune. It certainly has become a tune that many groups treat as proper to play!) The bottom line is any lover of Celtic and/or English traditional music should have this CD. Email the band for the full details on how to get this sterling CD!'

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