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- Family Favourites by The Big Eyes Family Players
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The Big Eyes (now with added 'Family Players' to their Moniker) are one of those bands that on first viewing you can't really believe are from the environs near you. Formerly Leeds, now Sheffield based, they have far more in common with the sort of chamber music that may emanate from Paris or such like. This welcome collection is an entirely re-recorded bunch of their finer moments from their scattered and you could say disjointed back catalogue and is most welcome because it exemplifies everything that is great about the band in one easy-to-approach vinyl slab. A long running collective already, James Yorkston was impressed enough by the band to use them on his 'Folk Songs' LP of 2010 and this follows on nicely for those woken up to their brilliance by that collaboration. To the uninitiated its kind of like a fuller, prettier Gallic take on Dirty Three's drifting orchestral melancholy, in fact one of the stand out moments comes on the Dirty Three cover 'Three Wheels', there is also something of an instrumental take on Belle and Sebastien's early carefully constructed compositions. There's also a flamenco kick to some of the tunes which fits surprisingly nicely with some of the more low key moments. Led by picked or strummed acoustic guitars and filled out with brushed drums, violins, flutes, harmoniflute (whatever that may be) this is folky but never annoyingly or inauthentically so. And that leads me to folk man-for-all-seasons and drum entrepreneur Alex Nielson who sums up Big Eyes special appeal in the sleeve notes to this fine release.
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