One of Spiers & Boden’s many fine and unforgettable releases has to be their ground-breaking first release ‘Through & Through‘. It is now to be re-issued after being unavailable since 2010. This debut album released on Fellside back in 2001, two years prior John Spiers and Jon Boden were to meet for the first time at an evening folk music session in the Elm Tree pub in Oxford. John Spiers, the son of a morris dancer and well versed in tunes, lived locally and was a regular whilst Jon Boden had hardly set foot inside a folk club but had a passion for playing the fiddle. It was whilst working on the music for a play in Oxford that he found himself with a night off and followed “the session player’s jungle drums to the Elm Tree”.
The rest is history as they say but just imagine if this meeting hadn’t taken place…sounds like a Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes moment…but the English Folk scene would be a hell of a lot poorer for it if they hadn’t joined forces, the journey to where we are today would have undoubtedly taken a lot longer. Their approach to English traditional folk music and plundering of morris dance tunes was not only cutting edge and refreshing, it changed the face of English Folk Music.
The release of Through and Through, as you can imagine, was ground-breaking. The energy they possessed as a live act was very present on the album, something that has continued to define them and their other projects including the mighty Bellowhead. It was thanks to them that many more people were introduced to English Folk music a mission they are still successful at today. The likes of the Rochdale Coconut Dance remains to this day something of a signature tune for the duo and whenever I hear it I remember this album….just compare this to their BIG BAND version with Bellowhead to get a grasp of how things have continued to move along.
Bellowhead – Rochdale Coconut Dance
Through & Through is re-released on Fellside on July 8th 2013