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Kirsty Bromley - Sweet Nightingale EP (Self Release)

Star rating: 
3

Kirsty Bromley's impressive debut performance as a singer in her own right at last year's Shepley Spring Festival brought some deserved attention. The young singer, previously known for her involvement from her early teens in various choirs, as a dancer and for her trumpet playing, was encouraged by friends to enter the Fred Jordan Memorial Competition, which is held annually at the Bromyard Folk Festival and whose previous winners have included Katrina Turner and Jim Moray, Tiny Taylor and Niamh Boadle. Kirsty subsequently won the competition in 2010 and in the short period of time since, the singer has been steadily garnering a reputation as a fine purveyor of traditional songs, some of which now appear on this her debut EP.

The five selections on SWEET NIGHTINGALE range from traditional unaccompanied songs such as The Trees They Do Grow High and the title song Sweet Nightingale to the contemporary songs Roll You Sweet Rain/Down co-written by Kate Fagan, Phillip Barnes and Tim Cotterel and the uplifting Utah Philips anthem Singing Through the Hard Times. More than comfortable as an unaccompanied traditional singer, the Maltby-born twenty-one year old has gathered together a small band of musicians to aid and assist her in demonstrating her versatility with some fine and tasteful arrangements. Those musicians include Oli Matthews who provides soprano sax and melodeon, whilst Simon Dumpleton plays accordion and piano and Philippe Barnes plays guitar and flute, with additional vocals courtesy of Oli and Simon. Kirsty also takes the opportunity to pucker up her embouchure to provide some fine trumpet accompaniment on Sydney Carter's Crow on the Cradle, which perfectly complements Oli's soprano sax lead. 
 
Despite Kirsty's doubts as to her credentials as a new and important voice on the British folk circuit, each of the performances on this EP demonstrate a confident voice, the precedent of which is difficult to identify. A new voice, ready to be nurtured for what I predict to be a very bright future. 
 
Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky