Monday, 28 March 2016

FRIDAY FROLICS

CD Review

Factor 3

If ever a band came out of "left field" then it's Friday Frolics. To be more precise they come from Barcelona in Spain and, similar to Broom Bezzums who are bringing traditional folk music to Germany, so FF is running rampant in a sunnier part of Europe with a Celtic sound.

Javier, Marta and Albert who are Friday Frolics
Factor 3 is their second album and sees the trio of Marta, Albert and Javier, it doesn't look they give out their surnames, bring their take on Celtic folk music which is tinged with more than a hint of the Medieval and dabbles with the unusual when it comes track titles.
For example the opening triplet is The Return to Galifrey and comprises Return to Milltown/The Dr Who Theme and Good Morning To Your Nightcap. It opens with a rapid Medieval style created by their impressive skills with the bouzouki, mandolin and fiddle before morphing into the well-known theme of the timelord. This is the strangest of fusions since Ray Barron of Two Time Polka pulled out his Dark Side of Macroom, a pun on Pink Floyd's seminal track, on his mandolin.
This is followed by another triplet Assembly Point which consists of Vankarin Polska/Julie Delaney's and Refuxio. The don't quite leave the Medieval style behind as Albert and Javier, on bouzouki and mandolin respectively, along with Marta on the fiddle keep the pace quickened for this trio of tunes.
They certainly don't give the listener a chance to catch their breath until track three with Cricket's Lullaby.
The lone mandolin opening the tune is followed quickly by the stroking of the fiddle, lowering the tempo slightly as the thoughtful tune spreads out before the listener. Towards the tail end, the bouzouki make its presence felt adding to the rich sound of the track. This is followed by the wonderfully named Trimming An Elephant Foot and once again the trio is back to their fast-paced style. All three weave in and out of their fellow band members' sounds to make what is a really pleasant tune which is easy and light on the ear.
The intro to Shirashi brings gentle reminders of The Beatles Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  On this track Marta's subtle fiddle playing comes to the fore before the lads give it a harder edge picking up the pace in the second half.
They keep the Celtic feel to their playing but it's more than that, their added lightness of touch give the tracks a sunnier disposition.
On Lusitania Marta gets to open the track with her rasping style of fiddle playing creating a slightly ominous almost action thriller film feel to the track. The lads on their strings carry on the theme and thoughtfully to tell the rest of the story as the tune unfolds.
They are back to the triplets for the last two tracks starting with The Morning After The Day Before which is Bachelor Party/Hangover and Wedding Reel. This track come at you like a train with almost a Doppler effect bringing it in with shades of Santana's Jingo Lo Bla. This is much more of a rock offering from the trio who are aided and abetted by Jen Majura on electric guitar.  This segues into a Pink Floydesque intro for the second part which gives way to a died-in-the-wool Celtic sound created by Marta and picked up by the mandolin beautifully. This continues as they play out the final part, each of the instruments giving a light skip to the reel that finishes on a sixpence.
The new album
The final track is a triplet of polkas which are just a delight to listen to as they are executed with a speedy precision, the higher pitch of the mandolin being complemented perfectly by the lower sound of the bouzouki.
 The tune is given a clacking highlight with Robin White on the spoons before Marta finally gets her voice in the act for the ethnic style singing. The track takes the album out on a high with a real toetapper.
Friday's Frolics have created an enjoyable and eminently listenable album with Factor 3.
It is light without being overly frivolous, traditional without being stodgy and really well put together by a trio who obviously enjoy what they do and, even more so, playing together.

Factor 3 is available now from the band's website and via download at fridayfrolics.bandcamp.com/