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Various - Dust On The Nettles: A Journey Through The British [Grapefruit/ Cherry Red - 2015]

When one thinks of the British underground Folk scene of the late 60ís/ early 70ís names like The Incredible String Band & Fairport Convention come to mind. This recent & rather wonderful compilation adds a whole host of previously unknown names to the list, and like the best compilations it makes you keen to track down work of many of the featured artists. Yet at the same time it managers to be a highly consistent listening experience in its own right over its three discs/ sixty plus track unfold.

The set comes in a fitting dark green  flapped  cardboard box- this features on itís front cover a picture of  two long haired males sitting around a woodland campfire with an acoustic guitar propped up beside them. Each of the three discs comes in itís own card slip case. With the whole thing been topped off with a glossy 36 page booklet- this features a small write up about each of the tracks featured, loads of pictures, and a short page write-up about the set itís self.

Each of the three discs features around twenty tracks, with a running time of near 80 minutes for each.  And these take in selection of mainly unknown bands/project from though-out the whole of British isles, sure you do get tracks from the likes of  more known projects like Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band, and Steeleye Span- but the tracks selected from these projects are lesser known & often rare versions. And on the subject of rare tracks, the compilation features its fair share of rare tracks too. Sound wise the compilation nicely shifts through the different types of folk going from: quirky & twee, through more up-beat, grand & pop lined, onto more weird & eastern tinged moments. Through to singer-song writer fare, onto stripped down acoustic guitar & wordy wide eyed, and beyond.  But the thing that makes the whole thing so great is  just how consistent, and listenable it is through-out, making the whole 5 plus hour compilation rewarding from start to finish.

I wonít go onto pick out favourites or highlights, as really pretty much everything featured here is great-with the pure variation & scope of compilation mean youíre always captivated.

This is really one of the most rewarding & worthy compilations I can think of in recent memory, and even if youíre not normally interested in British underground folk this still is worth picking up, as it works a great, varied & approachable listening experience, and with a price tag of under £20.00 this is a real bargain too

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Roger Batty
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