Reviews

The Bright Young Folk Review by Rosamund Woodroffe - July 2012

Full English is a wonderful collection of recognisable classics which have been carefully and beautifully recorded. Because they are all so familiar you donít have to get to grips with the content so you can just sit and enjoy. Williamsí voice is very attractive, and the featured Uilleann Pipes are jolly without being over-bearingly pipe-y. It is a beautifully balanced assemblage.

Full English is a comfortable listening experience which includes exuberant choruses and peaceful ballads. It is a mix which is reminiscent of a superb pub-session. In fact one of the tracks, Derby Ram, was recorded in the Horse and Groom in Nottingham - giving a genuine atmosphere. It is energetic and lively without being exhausting.

Thereís not much to say about the lyrical content of the album, as it is a CD of well-known traditional tracks - the albums foundations are grounded in the traditional songs which Williamsí mother would sing when he was a child. However despite the familiarity of their content these recordings feel fresh and revitalized.

The stand-out track is The Mermaid which is one of the bouncier tracks. It is jovially supplemented with salty cries of ahoy! and the sound of sea-gulls, evoking the ambiance of seaside pubs, a sensation further evoked by Williamsí gravelly Ronnie Drew-esque vocals. It was the only track I did not know inside out, but by the end of my first listen I could sing the chorus. The other top track is his recording of the Raggle Taggle Gypsies in which Williams creates a jaunty Balkan sound which will get the most sombre of feet tapping.

Each song is completely charming. There is a polished and reflective rendition of the Wild Rover, and a beautiful duet version of the Two Magicians - which is made into a mischievous story of playing hard to get. An interpretation of Scarborough Fair which outdoes Simon and Garfunkelís hit by being more brooding, helping to emphasise the impossibility of the thankless loverís tasks, and a King Henry featuring some beautifully lyrical pipes and a sound that grows through the piece demonstrating the tension of the story.

Williamsí vocals range in timbre from well-polished to gravelly and rough, and the tone of the tracks ranges from lyrical ballads to pub rounds. It is a fabulous collection, itís not challenging, but is easy and cheerful listening.

Amazon Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars†Full English by Mat Williams

Format: Audio CD - Amazon Verified Purchase

This fabulous collection is superbly sung, perfectly played and professionally produced. I found the harmonies in "The Oak And The Ash" especially haunting. Would recommend this as an essential part of any music collection; even for those who wouldn't ordinarily like folk songs. Mat Williams, et al, bring a new and very special vibrancy to these old favourites. Go on - treat yourself! You deserve it!

Amazonian 3 Jul 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars†Full English by Mat Williams

Format: Audio CD - Amazon Verified Purchase

I've just received my Full English through the letter box. Veggie Breakfast, anyone? Seriously, this album is a must have for anyone who ever saw The Crack in the Mat Williams days ... and those who didn't. It's quintessentially English folk music performed to the highest standard, as you would expect from an artist such as Mat. This take on traditional folk somehow eschews the nu~folk genre for a more encompassing dare i say passivity that flows with such passion, it more than makes up for that longing for strummy, scratchy acoustic guitars. Scarborough Fair stands out as an idyll, the guitar simplified only helps to enhance the purity of the song. There is a seriously strong dramatis personnae, who are exeptional in their delivery. Fully recommended.

Kev Fisher 26 Jun 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars†Full English by Mat Williams

Format: Audio CD - Amazon Verified Purchase

Just played my new copy of Full English. Mat Williams obviously has a great love of good traditional folk music ... it shines through in the playing and attention to detail throughout the album. The CD has a real ambience and is aproachable to people who are not in 'the folk scene' ... my kids even liked it! The only problem was, I didnt get the sausage, egg and beans with it that I was looking forward to!!

Coach House Photography 15 Jun 2012