Trembling Bells - The Constant Pageant
- Stewart Smith
- 1 March 2011
Encompasses Renaissance filigree, coliery brass bands and wailing free jazz
Like an Iain Sinclair of the North, Trembling Bells songwriter Alex Neilson seeks to evoke the psychic landscapes of his native Yorkshire. And so we find him in Goathland, nursing a broken heart, or in Otley, reeling from a demonic vision on the moors. Yet this is a cosmic Englishness, informed by classic American music as much as traditional folk. Lavinia Blackwell’s superb arrangements encompass courtly Renaissance filigree, coliery brass bands and wailing free jazz. Her vocals have never sounded better, her exquisite soprano complemented by a tougher lower range that lends the songs dignity and strength.