“Saturday Night At The Bull & Mouth” by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - album review

TJR says

This live album was recorded at the Bull & Mouth pub in London, England, in April and May, 1977. 2 tracks from the back catalogue get a reworking; “Rattling Roaring Willie” (Songs Of Robert Burns, 1959) and “I'm A Rover” (Bothy Ballads Of Scotland, 1961).

A nice range of instrumentation is a feature of the LP, with the Appalachian dulcimer, autoharp, banjo, concertina, guitar and mandolin all peppering the set here and there. With Neil MacColl on mandolin and Peggy Seeger on Appalachian dulcimer, “The Blakleg Miner” opens the LP, “Blackleg” being a commonly used term for a strikebreaker or a scab and, as the album's liner notes tell it, “the hatred and contempt of organised workers for those who desert to the enemy is perfectly expressed in this hard-hitting song from County Durham.

The Ballad Of Sharpeville” hits hard and leaves a lasting impression. Sixty seven blacks were mowed down for the "crime" of taking part in a peaceful demonstration against the pass law, which made it compulsory for all black South Africans over the age of 16 to carry the "passbook" at all times within white areas. With skill and passion, the Seeger / MacColl partnership doesn't sugar-coat the horror story: “the panic-stricken people run, to flee the wild attack, the police reload and fire again at running children, women, men, and shoot them in the back, DOM PASS! and shoot them in the back. Sixty-seven Africans lay dead there on the ground, Apartheid's harvest for a day, three times their number wounded lay, their blood stained all around, DOM PASS! their blood stained all around.

As they do throughout much of the album, the dual guitars of Neil and Peggy frame “Up In Wisconsin”, where the ecopolitics are pure, to the fore and typically uncompromising: “they say somewhere out in the wild, they wouldn't napalm a little child, they say somewhere, beyond the screams, you can still find an American dream.

There are many powerful moments on this live LP - I'm betting it'd be twice as powerful in the flesh.

The Jukebox Rebel
18-Aug-2018


A1 [01:54] 6.9.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - The Blakleg Miner [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
A2 [05:01] 5.8.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - The Rambling Man [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
A3 [03:29] 5.4.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Young Peggy [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
A4 [03:40] 6.5.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - John J. Curtis [live '77] (Traditional) Country
A5 [04:00] 6.4.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - John Hardy [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
A6 [05:41] 6.4.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Willie’s Lyke Wake [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
A7 [04:46] 7.1.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - The Ballad Of Sharpeville [live '77] (Ewan MacColl) Folk
B1 [03:24] 6.6.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Freight Train [live '77] (Elizabeth Cotten) Folk
B2 [03:52] 5.3.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Ythanside [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
B3 [04:04] 5.7.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Soap [live '77] (Traditional) Storytelling
B4 [02:55] 6.7.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Th’owd Chap [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
B5 [01:35] 5.9.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Rattling Roaring Willie [live '77] (Traditional) Folk
B6 [04:16] 7.0.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Up In Wisconsin [live '77] (Don Lange) Folk
B7 [02:28] 6.2.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Mysterious Lover [live '77] (Chris Culbert) Folk
B8 [05:09] 6.8.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - I’m A Rover [live '77] (Traditional) Folk




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