|Dimensions||12.5 × .10 × 12.5 cm|
Milk – Shipwrecked at the Royal Oak
Review by Ian Dearden
I’m sure there are many good reasons why no band previously has ever called themselves “Milk”, but let’s put that caveat to one side. Milk is a four piece acoustic roots band (not a hint of electricity anywhere that I could detect, other than an organ on one song) which is a vehicle for the original songs of Helen Begley. As well as writing all the material (except for one co-write), Helen shares lead vocal duties with Emily Hayes. Between the four members of the band, and occasional guests, we hear guitar, fiddle, mandolin, organ, accordion, double bass, drums, percussion (assorted) and massed ukuleles (which I’m believe offends some arcane musical regulation prohibiting more than two ukuleles in one place!) Lets not forget the vocals, also massed at times, which the bring to life the myriad protaganists of this fascinating collection of songs.
We have pirates (Pirate Song), environmentalists (All Aboard, Lodden River Song), lovers (If You Were Jesus), ghosts (Meet Me At Midnight) and posties (Mr Postman), as well as a raft of others too numerous to mention. Helen has a particular facility with historical songs, and is clearly proud of contributing probably the only song in existence that references women on the Australian goldfields (Gold Song). Of course, the review could not miss a mention of Sweet Serenade, described by the band as “porch music for romantics, played on the worst romantic instrument in the world – the ukulele”. They neglect to add that it’s played on four ukuleles, simultaneously, which accentuates the lack of romance, but lend the song a certain outrageous charm.
This is a delightful album; charming, wistful, challenging, enriching, nostalgic and romantic, and richly rewards repeated listens.
8 in stock (can be backordered)