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Folk band Pennyless, of Bourne, Strange Dreams, a review of the group's new album




Bourne-based folk troubadours Pennyless are back with their sixth studio album, Strange Dreams.

With a loyal and growing fanbase around the East Midlands and eastern England, the four-piece band have seen fit to grit their teeth and stretch the boundaries of what is considered to be traditional folk music on what is their first album in three years.

Singer, songwriter, violinist and viola player Penny Stevens, guitarist Les Woods, bass guitar player Colin Benton and multi-instrumentalist Graham Dale have welcomed guest drummer Pete Edmondson to work with them on the 11-track album.

Folk band Pennyless play at Moulton Windmill. (8876774)
Folk band Pennyless play at Moulton Windmill. (8876774)

It starts with a poem by Northamptonshire bard John Clare called Shepherd's Tree before the opening song, Broken (written by Stevens), takes listeners on a journey similar to that found with Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair.

The haunting theme goes on with the title track, Strange Dreams, and an instrumental number, The Wren, both written by Woods.

Pennyless also show their appetite for covers with A Leaf Must Fall, originally recorded in 1969 by Colin Palmer and The Famous Jug Band.

Strange Dreams is the sixth studio album by Bourne folk band Pennyless, from left, Colin Benton, Penny Stevens (front), Les Woods (back) and Graham Dale. Photo by Helen Savage. (12210408)
Strange Dreams is the sixth studio album by Bourne folk band Pennyless, from left, Colin Benton, Penny Stevens (front), Les Woods (back) and Graham Dale. Photo by Helen Savage. (12210408)

But it is the joint imaginations of Stevens and Woods that figure most strongly on Strange Dreams, with the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern mix of Gypsy Camp (Dream Tune) at one end of the scale, Eels, Three Suns and a song about John Clare himself at the other.

There is also room for an instrumental jig, with heavy Irish influences, composed by Dale to make the sixth album by Pennyless somewhat of a folk music experiment.

. The name Pennyless comes from its two founders, Penny (Stevens) and Les (Woods).

Review by Winston Brown



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