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FIFTY YARDS OF DAVID HUGHES
THE FOLK CORPORATION TFCCD 1099
(Released November 1999)
DINNER DANCE / MALDON GIRLS / SENSITIVITY / AN ORDINARY LIFE / 50 YARDS / PAST THE STARS / HOLD YOUR HORSES WOMAN / DAVID HUGHES' 116TH DREAM / MATILDA / COOL BJ / THE PROMISED LAND / BEING A POET
Q Magazine March 1998
Caustic, literate, funny third album from self-styled folkish scissormouth
Hearing Hughes for the first time is rather like getting acquainted with Tom Waits, a little unsettling to begin with, but thereafter entirely satisfying.
The range of songs is impressive; there's the thigh-slapping tango, Hold Your Horses Woman ("I am not like other men"); acoustic guitar acrobatics on Cool BJ (a tribute to Bert Jansch); the hilarious Matilda, a smoky French cafe shuffle, and a gloriously cynical singalong, The Promised Land ("Buddhism is super / You come back as the thing you most deserve").
The presence of star turn Gerry Conway on drums is essential, Spencer Cozens's keyboards do the necessary on Sensitivity and the album's standout ballad, An Ordinary Life, while Jacqui McShee sparkles throughout, as the pairing of her voice with the Hughes's half-spoken version is inspired. ****