A sampling of June Tabor


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been kinda taken aback when meeting up with friends I was at school with -and have thus known for decades rather than years – who have told me that they hardly listen to music anymore. Not just ‘Oh, all my CDs are in the attic/sent to a charity shop’ or ‘I haven’t been to a gig/club in ages’ or ‘I don’t really listen to much new stuff’ but just that they seem to have stopped listening to music. This certainly doesn’t make them bad people – but as someone to whom music is just so integral, the thought of not listening to music is hard to understand. I’ll be 35 next month, and the thought of not listening, not going to gigs, not to continue to have that hunger for it is something that’s completely alien.’ John Peel said that for him it was a case of ‘I just want to hear something I haven’t heard before.’ And I still have that.

And one of those things over the last ten years has been investigating ‘folk’* music. I’ve been blown away – twice- by watching Richard Thompson live at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall, interviewed Roy Harper (er, did I mention that?!?) and utterly fallen in love with Thompson and Sandy Denny-era Fairport Convention. And I know that’s just the tip of a big iceberg.

Another name is June Tabor. I first heard her thanks to Steve over at Teenage Kicks, with his posts on John Peel’s Festive Fifty and hearing her version of ‘No Man’s Land/Flowers of The Forest’ ( a cover of a song by Eric Bogle**, that was also later covered by The Men They Couldn’t Hang as ‘The Green Fields Of France.’) In the last week I’ve (finally) picked up on the fact that she has released two albums this year. One, Ashore contains a cover of Elvis Costello’s ‘Shipbuilding’ (as first recorded by Robert Wyatt) and the other, Ragged Kingdom, is a collaboration with Oysterband. It contains a cover of PJ Harvey’s ‘That Was My Veil,’ ‘The Dark End Of The Street’ and a fantastic re-working of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart.’

So I post here for your enjoyment – but please go and buy them if you like them.

June Tabor -‘Shipbuilding.’ mp3

June Tabor & Oysterband -‘Love Will Tear Us Apart.’ mp3

June Tabor -‘No Man’s Land/Flowers Of the Forest.’ mp3

*yeah, I l know a dissection of that term could be an entire post; it’ll have to wait for another time.

**Amongst Bogle’s other songs are ‘And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ which was covered by The Pogues and ‘My Youngest Son Came Home Today.’ He deserves a post dedicated to him sometime, too…

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