The New Scorpion Band

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To pay by post, please send a cheque for £11.00 per CD, payable to R.A. White, to 65 South Cheriton, Templecombe, Somerset, BA8 0BG.

 

New Scorpion Band CD Artwork

The New Scorpion Band enjoys collaborating with visual artists in the design of the group's CD covers. So far, they have made four commissions:

  • The Downfall of Pears - ceramic tile by Rosemary Swann
  • The Carnal and the Crane - stained-glass painting by Joan Salmon
  • Master Marenghi's Music Machine - painting by Paul Fletcher
  • Nowell Sing We - painting on wood by Katia Lari Faccenda

The front cover of "Out on the Ocean" is an anonymous painting of the Muriel, which was captained by Sharon's great-great-grandfather, Captain James Bale.

Please click on the title of a CD in the list above for sales, audio previews and more details...

TRACKLIST
  1. The Holly and the Ivy
  2. The Seven Joys of Mary
  3. The Holly Tree / A Merry Xmas
  4. The Green Man Song
  5. Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day / Dancing Day Jig
  6. The Gower Wassail
  7. The Mistletoe Waltz
  8. King Herod and the Cock / The Miraculous Harvest
  9. Christmas Song (The Trees are all Bare)
  10. I’ll Come O’er / Mr Ireland’s Christmas Party
  11. The Miner’s Dream of Home
  12. The Ditchling Carol
  13. All and Some
  14. The Plum Pudding Polka

(NSB07)

NOWELL SING WE

A second Christmas album containing some favourite carols and tunes, as well as including some lesser known titles and the recently discovered "Green Man Song".

TRACKLIST
  1. Ships are Sailing (air/reel), The Black Eyed Sailor (reels)
  2. When the Cock Crows it is Day, The Gander in the Pratie Hole (jigs)
  3. The Shrewsbury Lasses (set dance), The 4th Dragoons' March
  4. St Vincent Hornpipe
  5. The Gentle Maiden (air), The Herd on the Hill (polka)
  6. Gillan's Apples (jig), Christmas Eve (air), Christmas Eve (reel)
  7. Where Helen Lies (lament), The Banks of Spey (strathspey), Colonel McDougall's, Reel of the McFarlanes (reels)
  8. Rodney's Glory (slow air), Out On the Ocean (jig)
  9. The Sailor's Return (reel)
  10. Winter's Night Schottische
  11. The Fairy Boy (air), The Fairy Hornpipe
  12. The Girl With the Blue Dress On, The Jenny Lind Polka (polkas)
  13. Arane Ghelby (air)
  14. The Gold Ring (double jig)

(NSB06)

INSTRUMENTALS VOLUME ONE

A compilation of favourite instrumental tracks.

RECENT REVIEWS

“This is a compilation CD of instrumental tracks taken from the New Scorpion Band’s previous albums. Although most of the music is dance music, this is a CD to which to listen rather than one to which to dance: there are jigs, reels, hornpipes, strathspeys and schottisches, interspersed with airs and laments. Worthy of note is the outstanding consistency of quality and variety over a number of years.”

“Of the twenty six tunes included in the twelve tracks, two will be familiar to most readers of this publication, the polkas The Girl with the Blue Dress On and The Jenny Lind Polka. Of the others many will be new to people or only familiar from performances by NSB. The arrangements are all superb with hauntingly beautiful tunes on the pipes such as Ships are Sailing, renditions with a sense of fun such as Fairy boy and Fairy Hornpipe, medleys that gather momentum such as Rodney’s Glory (slow air) to Out on the Ocean (jig) to The Sailors Return (Reel), as well as the upbeat polkas mentioned above.” - Jacqueline Patten, “What’s Afoot” Devon

TRACKLIST
  1. The Girl with the Blue Dress On, The Jenny Lind Polka
  2. The Painful Plough
  3. Bridgwater Fair
  4. When the Cock Crows it is Day, The Gander in the Pratie-hole
  5. Over the Hills and Far Away
  6. Its a Rosebud in June
  7. Donkey Riding
  8. Shrewsbury Lasses, The 4th Dragoons' Regimental March, St. Vincent Hornpipe
  9. The Derby Ram
  10. The Gentle Maiden, The Herd on the Hill
  11. A Wooing Song of a Yeoman of Kents Sonne
  12. Hey! John Barleycorn
  13. Welsh Droving Song, The Old Drove Road
  14. Ye Tyrants of England
  15. Spanish Ladies

(NSB05)

MASTER MARENGHI'S MUSIC MACHINE

This collection contains quite a few old favourites, which, for various reasons, we have not got round to recording before, and also a good number of new titles drawn mainly from our programme "John Barleycorn is Dead”.

RECENT REVIEWS

“...professional musicianship goes hand in hand with intensely intelligent, consciously arranged settings, an exceptional sense of ensemble and an abundantly fresh-sounding spontaneity in realisation. The musicians treat their sources with respect, but - importantly - also show a keen sense of fun. There's always plenty going on in the instrumental texture, which is constantly varied to suit the expressive needs of each piece. A gloriously rich sound emanates from the five players, each of whom also happens to be a fine singer as well as an expert and versatile instrumentalist. Having said that, there are several instances when a more restrained scoring pays dividends too, as on the sparser accompaniment to Sharon Lindo's rendition of Rosebud in June... a well-coordinated collection that contains some old favourites from the band's repertoire that they'd not got round to recording hitherto, along with some items from their newest programmed shows... Around a third of the tracks are purely instrumental, and these use individual colours and timbres most creatively; highlights include Brian Gulland's delicately moulded cor anglais portrayal of The Gentle Maiden, to which is appended Robert A White's excellent performance of Tom Clough's Herd on the Hill, and, earlier on the disc, a daintily executed yet suitably spirited set of border-country tunes... and the rousing marching-band ambience of Ye Tyrants of England (dedicated to the memory of Brass Monkey's Howard Evans) is particularly well conveyed in the NSB's performance. This delightful disc presents just over an hour's worth of top-class music, where folk naturally and unpretentiously meets pre-classical and baroque in a carefully considered but always supremely entertaining tapestry.” - David Kidman, The Living Tradition Magazine

“Tim Laycock has the ability to surround himself with musicians who seem to come from outside what we might once have termed 'the folk scene', but who always seem to understand the genre perfectly ...one of the finest sounding recordings I've heard in a long time. Opening with a suitably lumpy version of English polka favourites ...you might expect a standard English sound, particularly followed by the Copper style harmonies of The Painful plough. Two tracks later 'When the Cock Crows it is Day/The Gander in the Pratie Hole' is full blown Irish, rattling away at full tilt with the best of the craic ...we're treated to a 'Welsh Droving Song' paired with Billy Pigg's The Old Drove Road, a tune in the Northumbrian Tradition. In other hands this might sound like five musicians in search of a tradition; here it's five consummate players enjoying a great tune, no matter from where. Nowhere is this more evident than on 'Bridgwater Fair', where the band manages to sound like a 'mighty fairground organ', a village silver band, and, in a passing nod to Cyril Tawney, a village silver band after a hard day in the cider tent! Having singled out these tracks, I realised I could have picked any of the fifteen on offer; truly a delight, cider or no.” - Baz Parkes, English Dance and Song

“Scorpion Band albums always seem brimming with new and exciting ideas. This new album is no exception. The band has a very theatrical approach to its music which can produce spectacular results. This is particularly true as early as the third track, Bridgwater Fair. The band takes a pleasant, simple song and makes full use of their dazzling array of instruments and musicality to create a stunning soundscape of the Fair itself. We are all aware of the distinctive sound of a fairground organ and the band recreates that sound using a maximum of musical and creative ability and a minimum of technical wizardry. The record is worth getting for this one track alone. In the past few years the Scorpions have developed another side to their performance and are now able to perform pieces as a brass ensemble. The brass tracks on this album are very strong and give the record a glorious additional texture. I loved the way the brass gave added poignancy to Ye Tyrants of England... there are so many highlights as to make this an album well worth buying... yet another glorious celebration of traditional British music.” - Eddie Upton - Folk South West

“The mix of tunes and songs on the album is well-balanced. Some of the songs will be familiar to people who do not follow traditional music, many will be known to people who regularly attend folk events, while people who have attended performances by The New Scorpion Band will have heard several of the band's favourites... The polkas provide the opening track, an excellent way to lift the spirits of the listener in a trice. The vitality of the performance, superb instrumentation, and the excellent arrangements, are captivating. The next track, the song The Painful Plough, is a complete contrast: a simple, reflective arrangement, in which the words provide the focus. These two tracks form the pattern for the album, a sympathetic blend of poignancy and fun, which provokes thought, smiles, or laughter at every turn. The final track is an old favourite, Spanish Ladies, thus the band leave the listener with raised spirits, as they began... the band continues to reach new audiences and its reputation reaches new heights... so tell a friend... buy it and enjoy a treat... it is highly recommended, do not hesitate.” - Jacqueline Patten, What's Afoot, Devon

TRACK LIST
  1. The Collier Brig, Percy Brown's, Old Joe, The Boat is Going Over
  2. High Barbaree, Major Malley's Reel
  3. Rollicking Randy Dandy O
  4. The Capstan Bar
  5. Nelson's Victory, The Stormy Voyage, The Three Captains
  6. Sally Brown
  7. The Race of Long Ago
  8. Tom Bowling
  9. The Wild Goose Shanty
  10. Ships are Sailing, The Black-Eyed Sailor
  11. Blow, Boys, Blow
  12. All Things are Quite Silent
  13. On Board a 98
  14. Nelson's Death
  15. Rodney's Glory, Out on the Ocean, The Sailor's Return
  16. The Hogseye Man
  17. South Australia
  18. The Leaving of Liverpool

(NSB04)

OUT ON THE OCEAN

The album is 76 minutes of music and contains a large variety of maritime material, including several songs and tunes connected to Admiral Lord Nelson.

RECENT REVIEWS

“Since I first saw the band a few years ago I have followed their progress closely and they have never let me down. Tim has surrounded himself with an extremely well-rounded bunch of musicians and singers here who can use their music to great effect in creating exactly the right atmosphere required by any song they chose to sing. They are the ideal travelling folk orchestra and this collection is a perfect example of this ideal. There are several offerings that would make great maritime movie soundtracks! Mention should be made here of the exquisite and informative insert booklet, the care and attention given to this is equal to that of the music itself. It's difficult to single out a best track - all titles are masterfully executed with care, sensitivity and panache. Make no mistake, these are guys and gals who can not only sing and play but also understand very well the genre they work with. This recording is authentic without being tired or dated, quietly authoritative and entertaining without patronisation, and I see no reason why any self respecting enthusiast would not want this in their collection. A great piece of work for sure.” - Keith Kendrick, EDS magazine

“Informative and clever sleeve notes introduce a special folk album by this five-piece band, who demonstrate a genuine love and understanding for their genre across 18 recordings here. Tinged throughout with a strong maritime theme, this is the latest in their impressive series and highlights some truly knockout group singing and astute playing.” - Musician, the journal of the UK Musicians' Union.

“This English group features Brian Gulland, whose bassoon, oboe and cor anglais were a big part of the baroque 'n roll band Gryphon and the French folk rock band Malicorne. On Out on the Ocean, the New Scorpion Band's fifth CD, he also plays whistle, hammer dulcimer, organ, jug, and percussion, and is joined by four other multi-instrumentalists and vocalists who among them play about two dozen instruments, including violin, viola, concertina, melodeon, English guitar, banjo, guitar, mandolin, bagpipes, flute, recorder, and even a tuba. This richness of brass, strings and woodwind necessarily gives their music a dense, big band sound thats unusual in the folk scene, but common to village bands in various parts of England. Their opening song, a breezy take on the Collier Brig, oom-pahs along pleasantly from verse to verse, pausing for instrumental breaks consisting of popular polkas. They do gussy up some chanteys with unusual arrangements; the Capstan Bar is arranged almost as a lullaby, with gently plucked guitar and beautiful countermelodies on Northumbrian smallpipes and cor anglais. They are also capable of doing a very comfortable job with an unaccompanied chantey, as they demonstrate with convincing performances of Roll and Go, Sally Brown, The Wild Goose Chantey and others. Finally they treat a number of entertaining Naval ballads, including High Barbaree, Nelsons Death, and a pretty version of On Board a 98. In all, with 76 minutes of music, a booklet of interesting notes, and some fine artwork and photos, it's a splendid disc.” - Dirty Linen, USA

TRACK LIST
  1. Bold Lovell
  2. The Hard Times of Old England
  3. Derwentwater's Farewell
  4. A Smuggler's Song
  5. The Friar in The Well
  6. The Downfall of Pears
  7. The Sad Sea Waves
  8. Four Scottish tunes - I Wish I Were Where Helen Lies, Banks of the Spey, Colonel MacDougall of Duneely's Reel, Reel of the MacFarlanes
  9. I Live Not Where I Love
  10. Lord Bateman

(NSB03)

THE DOWNFALL OF PEARS

RECENT REVIEWS

“This English band never disappoints. They always produce albums that are whole-hearted and all encompassing. Now dear North Americans, excuse me if I use a British sporting metaphor! If this band were a cricketer, they could dash off the fastest hundred of the season, bowl a spirited fast medium (and also fall back upon off-breaks when another spinner was called for), field anywhere (including donning the wicket-keeper's pads), and even have the humility to bring out the drinks as twelfth man. Correction: there is one role they couldn't adopt. They couldn't stonewall a la Trevor Bailey to save a game: that is not their style. Their style is to entertain. And here as usual we have something for everyone interested in Traditional Folk Music. Tim Laycock sings as effortlessly as ever; and this time I was particularly taken by Sharon Lindo's genuine Shirley Collins-ish pure/innocent voice of Olde England (not the faux-naive voice demonstrated by some women on the UK Folk Scene). And Brian Gulland's array of wind instruments also impressed. Two of my all time favourite songs are here, "I Live Not Where I Love" and "The Hard Times of Old England". But my favourite cut was their version of that grand old song I had not heard in an age: "The Friar in The Well". Naughty, but very nice. Decent liner notes too. Black print on a white background: you cannot beat it. And good informative artwork to boot.” - Dai Woosnam, The Living Tradition, the leading UK Folk Magazine.

“Those who have seen the New Scorpion Band live will know just how versatile and entertaining this group are in concert... they play a range of more than two dozen wind, stringed and free reed instruments. It's a further attestation to the quality of musicianship and personality of the New Scorpion Band that their latest CD is the next best thing to a live performance.” - Colin Andrews, What's Afoot No 75, Devon's Folk Magazine

“That they have developed such a close musical relationship is testimony to their superb musicianship and to the strength of their commitment to this wonderful musical adventure. I find the two 'big' songs on this record the most appealing. Both get the full benefit of the band's extraordinary range of instruments. In both cases the songs emerge refreshed... The arrangement for Lord Bateman is a real work of art. The epic ballad is retold in graphic fashion, with the musical accompaniments playing a full part in relating the narrative... wonderful stuff.” - Eddie Upton, Folk South West

“This fine band's 'fanciful and haphazard rummaging in Britain's musical attic' has resulted in a cracking assortment, treated to arrangements full and fair. Tim Laycock leads most of the vocals to be sure, but he has four guys each laden down with a huge collection of instruments. All tunes and songs are traditional except for Kipling's 'Smuggler's Song', and it is impossible to fault these performances, so perfect are these jewels in their settings. The 16-page booklet is truly delightful. A landmark in British song.” - Chris Ridley, Folknews Kernow

TRACK LIST
  1. All Hail to the Dayes
  2. The Sussex Carol
  3. The Truth Sent From Above
  4. Salutation Carol
  5. There was a Pig, In Dulci Jubilo
  6. The Wexford Carol
  7. The Sans Day Carol
  8. Gloomy Winter, Christmas Day in da Morning, I Saw Three Ships
  9. The Carnal and the Crane
  10. Gillan's Apples, Christmas Eve (air), Christmas Eve (reel)
  11. The Christmas Goose
  12. Winter's Night Schottishe
  13. Shepherds Arise!
  14. The Somerset Wassail

(NSB02)

THE CARNAL AND THE CRANE

'The Carnal and the Crane' is a wonderful collection of Christmas and midwinter music, including traditional carols, humorous and devotional songs and seasonal dance tunes.

RECENT REVIEWS

“a Christmas celebration in fine style, which also celebrates the wonderful carols collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams... There are well-researched sleeve notes and an excellent standard of musicianship throughout. The beautiful arrangements and instrumentation make for a seasonal glow... I can almost smell the mulled wine ! Recommended for Christmas-aholics everywhere.” - Tony Kendall, Living Tradition

“The four people around England's Tim Laycock manage between them to play twenty-five instruments. Sometimes less is more, but the musicians of the New Scorpion Band are in full command of their resources. On this CD we find Christmas and winter songs, quintessentially British. It's simply fantastic, the way in which the band performs the songs and tunes, and in particular, various wind instruments are used to compelling effect. And on top of that there is perfectly blended part-singing, it's a real joy. Absolutely brilliant, this music sounds good even in summer.” - Folker Magazine, Germany

TRACK LIST
  1. The Route Has Just Come for the Blues
  2. The Grenadiers' March 1776, The Rogues' March
  3. Drink Old England Dry
  4. Boney Crossing the Rhine, Madame Bonaparte
  5. The Plains of Waterloo, The Blackbird
  6. Jolly Jack Tar, Lord Nelson's Hornpipes
  7. Lady Nelson's, Lord Nelson's Waltzes
  8. Bold Nelson's Praise
  9. The Girl I left Behind Me, The British Grenadiers
  10. Waterloo Dance
  11. Little Boney
  12. St Helena March
  13. Boney on St Helena

(GHP04)

THE PLAINS OF WATERLOO

This is a concept album of music from the Napoleonic wars conceived by Robert A. White and played by The New Scorpion Band. Much of the music is treated in an historical manner, while the rest is given a 'filmic' quality. Robert first conceived this recording after working on "Sharpe's Sword" and realising that there were no complete recordings of Napoleonic Music.

RECENT REVIEWS

“The New Scorpion Band is one of those groups that I have heard tracks and songs from and I really like their approach to the songs and music. They use contemporary instruments that just sound so old. There is no synthesiser here just a mellow harmonium that is augmented by a bassoon, side drum, flutes and Uilleann Pipes, tin whistles and many others. Throw in the lead vocals of Tim Laycock that have a distinctive style and you have a unique sound. Together with Brian Gulland, Robin Jeffrey, Colin Thompson, Robert White and guest member Michael Gregory, Laycock has blended a superb collection of evocative songs on this CD. On The Plains of Waterloo the standout tracks - for me - are The Route Has Just Come for the Blues, Drink Old England Dry, the title track and Bold Nelson's Praise... Napoleonic buffs should really try to get hold a of a copy of this band's work as it will transport you into the great era.” - Richard Moore, Napoleonic Guide

“...another NSB blockbuster. The band's delicate and skilful use of baroque and other instruments provide a convincing musical insight into the military life of men and women in the early 1800s... the NSB 'take' on the defeat of Old Boney has a compellingly realistic charm and could form the basis for background to a more factual TV documentary reading of the life of Sir Arthur Wellesley or Admiral Horatio Nelson. Again there are sensible sleeve notes and the usual smashing songs, tunes and arrangements - this is FAB! - buy it.” - Tony Kendall, Living Tradition

“Now this is something special...The set list is fascinating, and fully annotated..this five piece acoustic band provide a rich sound tapestry...the music is guaranteed to warm anybody up, especially the harmony vocals, which really boom through the speakers.” - Folk On Tap

“Reflective, enthusiastic,catchy... For those who love pure traditional music on acoustic instruments, intermingled with fine, balanced singing, this is an excellent record.” - Goe Vollek Belgium

TRACK LIST
  1. Sailing Over the Dogger Bank
  2. Heaven's a Bar
  3. May Song
  4. The New Rigged Ship, Off She Goes
  5. Row On
  6. Hopping Down In Kent
  7. Scots Set - Banks and Braes, The Iron Man, Devil Amang the Taylors, High Road to Linton
  8. John Barleycorn
  9. Blow the Candles Out
  10. Scan Tester's Polkas
  11. Wheat
  12. The Fox, The Fox Chase

(NSB01)

FOLK SONGS AND TUNES FROM THE BRITISH ISLES

RECENT REVIEWS

“The vocals by Tim Laycock are superb, the vocal arrangements are moving and beautiful, and the standard of musicianship is exceptional. This lineup deserves success, this album is a winner.” - Living Tradition

“An altogether joyful noise.” - Taplas

“Boisterous and full of swagger.....a satisfying set which shows how varied an all-acoustic British folk band can be” - Folk on Tap

“The breadth and variety that is included is staggering... powerful group singing with tremendous accompaniments for the raucous; and sensitive well-crafted masterpieces for the discerning ear. Don't just buy the CD, book the band... go and hear them and think yourself fortunate you live in a time when people still produce such wonderful, wonderful musical entertainment.” - EFDSS Magazine

"It seems a long time since I listened to a record and then wanted to play it again straight away... every time I have listened to it I have heard something new... it is difficult to single out individual tracks for special mention - I liked them all. Suffice to say that both the singing and the playing display an all-too-rare freshness and vitality. The musicians obviously enjoy playing together. This is just the sort of CD I would choose for my 'Desert Island Discs'!” - Eddie Upton

"The vocals are handled very well by a number of band members, who do both solo and harmonies beautifully. Special mention goes to Tim Laycock, whose lovely clear voice leads most of the songs... try out this disc, which is highly recommended.” - Dirty Linen, USA