So here we have a compilation album put together by the University College London Folk and World Music Society and earnest and true to the spirit of the music it is. As with all compilations, and especially ones that will no doubt feature inconclusive beards, this will be one sentence per song. Words are money, after all, so let’s get earning…
There are twelve songs here:
- The Lion’s Share - “Tom Sandles” – this song sets the tone for this compilation being a model of conventionality.
- Charlie Stott - “Wayward Son” Dylanesque, unsurprisingly, but the atmosphere of laconic melancholy overcomes the shaky harmonies.
- Maps - “From Here” – an entertaining song that runs straight and true to expectations.
- Molly Sharp - “Hurricane” - perhaps the most interesting voice here, Molly Sharp stamps character on “Hurricane”.
- Seen As Waves - “Shark Song” – Seen As Waves play it safe with familiar chords.
- Jack Dean - “Trouble in the Heart” – a spirited performance reminiscent of that hard core rootster Kevin Coyne.
- Greenstick - “You’re The One” – an up-tempo song on the folk festival track and, while not quite the Trembling Bells, Greenstick are on the right line.
- Southfleet - “King’s Shilling” – again a very traditional song but with appealing and convincing vocals by Hannah Donelon.
- Sarah Q - “Las Campanas Lloran”- another potential folk favourite treated with winsome respect.
- Slim Picking “Whiskey and Wine” – take a point off for the name and another for the uninspired playing.
- Tom Blackburn - “John Barleycorn” – wholesome and entirely conventional acoustic version of a well-kent song.
- Ceilidh Band - “Coconut Polka Set” – much as you would expect of a ceilidh band.
“Compilation Album Volume 1” is about as traditional as you can get today and is, accordingly, as relevant to 1969 as it is to today with Molly Sharp and Southfleet providing the outstanding songs.