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PETER AND THE WOLF – Storyteller (CD, Skinny Dog Records)

Posted: May 16th, 2007, by Mandy Williams

Liverpool acoustic folk trio Peter and the Wolf are comprised of a double bass player, a girl drummer and a lead singer. Their mini album Storyteller was recorded in singer Marc Sunderland’s bedroom studio.

The first thing you notice from the opening track Showdown are Sunderland’s distinctive, clear, Sting-like vocals. It’s a crisp sound that inflects up and down melodically through the songs. Drummer Donna Dosanjh populates the stop-start rhythms with her perfect percussion and ooh-ooh backing vocals.

Tommy is the tale of a space cadet who drew comets in his physics textbook. The victim of a social arrest, labelled as a broken misfit. Not much going for him you might think but Peter and the Wolf manage to make him sound appealing! In Mercy, the dual singers are accompanied by Hugo Harrison’s convivial double bass picking. Lover Scorned is a charming little torch song with a hand clapping backbeat. On Reason Sutherland declares “I don’t want a war with words or enemies. What gives you the right to speak out and slowly bring me to my knees?” Killing Time has a Feelin’ Groovy melody, backed by harmonica.

When you’re used to listening to murderous breaks and muffled lyrics, this piece of work is a real breath of fresh air. The carefully composed acoustic songs have a lovely retro feel; sort of Simon and Garfunkel meets the best of 10CC.

‘Storyteller’ couldn’t be more perfectly named. You feel you are thumbing through a child’s book, learning about quirky new characters. Musically, the bass and beats are always in perfect rhythm, they lull between fat blues and an intricate folk sound, both of which are quite irresistible. Who knows what we can expect from their full album – poetry akin to Difford and Tilbrook, with the intonation of Rufus Wainwright and the whispery offbeat loveliness of Elliot Smith, maybe? I hope so.

Peter And The Wolf
Skinny Dog Records

Mandy Williams


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