When Ian and I got the email from Davie Henderson in 2009 to see if we would be willing to perform at the 30th Shetland Folk Festival in May 2010 it sounded like a blast! It would be the first time we would have played together in 15 years and it would be fun to remember the old tunes. Then the nerves started to set in. Could we still play well together? Could we still play the ‘old’ material and what if our individual styles had changed so much over the years we couldn’t play together in the same way? Well we needn’t have worried. As soon as we sat down on the boat the fun of our old rehearsals came flooding back. It was amazing, and we immediately started working on new material , tunes that complemented our ‘mature’ musical styles and made us both laugh out loud! This album is the culmination of these rehearsals and I hope the fun that we’ve had reaches you and makes you smile!
If you would like to remix this album please do! We will have separate tracks on the website for you to do this – www.simonthoumire.com. Thanks to Creative Scotland without whom this album wouldn’t have been possible.
Provost of Forgandenny (Robert Forsyth Crowe)
Jimmy’s Aye Diggin’ (Ian Powrie)
Brocken Spectre (Ian Carr, MCPS)
Three Piece Suite (Simon Thoumire, MCPS)
Da Fashion o da Delting Lasses
Christmas Day in da Morning (Fredamann Stickle)
Arizona Moods (Ian Carr, MCPS)
Dave Verril’s Waltz (Ian Carr, MCPS)
Betty Verril’s Waltz (Ian Carr, MCPS)
A Day On The River (Ian Carr, MCPS)
Step on it Sven (Ian Carr, MCPS)
Caliope House (Dave Richardson, Gilderoy Music)
Linnea Möter Lava (Ian Carr, MCPS)
Baby I Love You (Ian Carr)
Twelve Pins (Charlie Lennon)
Joseph Boseph (Simon Thoumire, MCPS)
Offensive Doctor Flute Pervert (Hamish Napier, MCPS)
The Lasses Fashion
Barney’s Balmoral (E MacDonald)
He Thinks He’s Invisible (Ian Carr, MCPS)
All tracks traditional unless mentioned. All arrangements Simon Thoumire and Ian Carr
“virtuoso, madcap exhilarating stuff. One thing for sure, you won’t fall asleep listening to it!” The Living Tradition
“..When they play it straight, as on Carr’s waltz set, they can charm; but when they go for it, they’re an unstoppable force of mad virtuosity.” Rob Adams, Sunday Herald
Reviews – He Thinks He’s Invisible
Living Tradition – Jim Byrne
I got Simon and Ian’s first album Hootz when I was at the Shetland Folk Festival way back in 1991. At the time I was blown away by their performances on stage – Ian’s stunning ( if somewhat unconventional) command of the guitar and Simon’s inventiveness on the concertina, coupled with their devilish ability to do things that nobody else could (or would want to) think of. A mixture of traditional and self-penned music in totally off the wall settings along with jazzy riffs and rhythms and things which sound downright wrong yet are somehow fantastic at the same time! I bought the album then and am still listening to it to this day. Twenty years on and the two lads come up with the sequel and it doesn’t disappoint.
They hadn’t worked together for some 15 years until they got a call to ask if they would perform at the 30th Shetland Folk festival in 2010 and rehearsals started on the boat on the way across. This album is a direct result of that regrouping.
It opens with two tunes ‘Provost of Forgandenny/Jimmy’s Aye Diggin’, two gentle, melodic tunes which lead the listener into a totally sense of security. As the album progresses, it becomes more of what I would expect from Ian and Simon. By track three (Da fashion o da Delting Lasses/Christmas Day in da Morning/Arizona Mood) they’re in full Thoumire/Carr swing – unexpected twists and turns, odd rhythms, seemingly unconnected counter melodies and weird and wacky goings on (including Ian changing between guitar turnings in mid flight!)
Lots of Ian Carr tunes are featured along with a few of Simon’s and some traditional material – not that it necessarily sounds traditional! Look out for a disconcertingly different version of Dave Richardson’s ‘Caliope House’ – it took me a while to realise that what it was!
It does take a few listens to get into the swing of what they are up to, but, if you are a Simon Thoumire or Ian Carr fan, you will enjoy this. Virtuoso, madcap, exhilarating stuff.
One thing is for sure – you won’t fall asleep listening to it!
Sunday Herald – Rob Adams
Almost a quarter of a century has passed since the then enfants terribles of folk music – concertist Simon Thoumire and guitar it’s Ian Carr – released an LP of the inventive and at times bordering on the bonkers take on traditional music with which they were entertaining and possibly perplexing folk audiences. They were a double act like no other, and it’s a pleasure to report that, although they may have matured, it’s only their hair they have lost. The gleeful sense of fun and daring improvisation they brought to dance tunes, allied to no little respect for dance band forebears including Bobby Crowe and Ian Powrie, are, if anything, more pronounced now and the contrasts between off-kilter deconstruction or expansive investigation of a melody and racing, full-on and at times downright swinging momentum are doubly effective. when they play it straight, as on Carr’s waltz set, they can charm; but when they go for it, they’re an unstoppable force of mad virtuosity.
“….I just bought the CD (it comes with a download option too) and it’s great – inspiring, exciting playing from both (as one would expect).” Chatty Concertinist
“…..it’s really inspiring; two inventive musicians playing the heck out of some tunes, and reigning it in for some lovely passages on others. I can imagine they’re quite a force of nature in concert as well! ” Heavyweight Boxer
Back in nineteen ninety, before Scottish music was funky and cool, two young lads produced a fabulous album which is sadly no longer available. It was called Hootz! and I am still hoping for it to be re-released. It is appropriately commemorated in the catalogue number of this new release from the same duo, Thoumire & Carr Part 2, with less than a twenty-five year gap between albums! Of course, both lads have been quite busy in the meantime, in various bands, festivals, record labels, awards and gentlemen’s outfitters. Ian played with Katherine Tickell, Karen Tweed, Swåp and other Anglo-Scandinavian gangs. Simon set up Tartan Tapes, and Footstompin’, and the Scottish trad awards, and a few other things, as well as writing and playing a lot of new Scottish music. Both are snappy dressers, although you’d never guess it from this album’s artwork – but a concert by Thoumire and Carr is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. So there you have it, a reprise of one of the great musical pairings of the last generation, and a very welcome return of the crazy quirky jazzy version of Scottish music unique to Carr & Thoumire.
Oh yes, the music. Where to start? It’s all concertina and guitar, naturally. Most of this album was actually written by Ian Carr, and most of the rest is traditional to a greater or lesser extent. Carr’s compositions range from the positively joyous Linnea Möter Lava to the outright soporific Brocken Spectre with no explanation in either case. The swaggering Provost of Forgandenny betrays Thoumire’s liking for pipe marches, and is one of several pieces where these boys mess with the tempo. Who knew Calliope House would sound so good as a lyrical slow strathspey?Or that Henninglåt could be dragged out so effectively? Who’d even heard of Henninglåt, for that matter?! Other pieces are more familar: the old Shetland reel Da Fashion o’ da Delting Lasses, Charlie Lennon’s Twelve Pins, and a couple more, mixed in with titles such as Joseph Boseph, Step On It Sven and the memorable Offensive Doctor Flute Pervert. Fun, frolics, fine musicianship and funked-up folk: what more could you want? If there was still a Woolworths, I’m sure this would be available there. Nowadays, however, you’d best try www.simonthoumire.com, or indeed the other fella’s website which is www.iancarrguitar.com.