Newtown Defenders Flute Band, Irvine
I don't think any list of reviews would be complete without a review of the "Basically Bigotry" CD by the original kings of kick, the Newtown Defenders Flute Band.
Newtown Defenders Flute Band were formed in 1984 in Irvine, Scotland. Formed under the name of the Three Castles Flute Band the band soon changed it's name. This will be the bands second recording, the first being the wanted Kings of Kick. Lets hope it's not there last.
Track one on this Cd is the track that you play on the morning of the 12th, at a very high decibel. The Sash. No messing here by the band, straight in with, what has to be, the greatest Loyalist tune ever penned. Pure blood and thunder here. My neighbour used to love this tune. Got very good at playing the bass drum on the wall. Well, I think that's what he was doing....:-)))))
The next track the band must be commended on, well the second part of the set. Nice to see yet another band playing the excellent Governor Walker. Just wish more band would play this tune, more often anyway. Anyhow, must say the band did justice to this tune. The band then progress through a number of good Loyalist tunes, Comrades and U.V.F. Spirit of Ulster. But, listen to the bass drumming on Crossmaglen, superb!! Then onto the Armagh Brigade and No. 1 Platoon. Nice to see a band playing a mixture of Both "Volunteer" and "Defender" tunes. So, many bands stick to one set of tunes. Tut tut, shame on you!!
After Old Holborn we get, what has to be such an apt set, Follow Follow and the Billy Boys. Followed by another outstanding piece of bass drumming, and side drumming, to the tune Glory. Then we have Tumbletown. I actually thought that the best blood and thunder version I heard of this tune was by the Pride of the Hill Flute Band, Rathfriland. I have now had my eyes opened. Personally, I like this rendition better, as I feel it has more thunder to it. But, that's just my opinion!
If the Pope says no then we'll have another go, is the cry. We are treated to Dan, Shanghi and In the Morning. Another band who are still playing the older Orange tunes. I've said this before I just wish more bands would play our traditional tunes more often. For one thing it gets up the noses of the enemy. Hands across the Waters and the fabulous Billy Mcfadzean (V.C). The band then treat us to Apprentice Boys. Then we have, what I think is, one of the best tracks on the CD. 4th July and Holsten. Superb, superb and superb!!
I have posed the question before, what makes a good blood & thunder band? Is it the size? Is it the noise? If it is the noise then the Newtown Defenders must certainly be the Kings, if not a strong contender, on the basis of Whiterock. The we have the no frills way to play Bogside. How it should be played. No intro. No razzmatazz just get in there and show them what it's all about. They end the set with another rarely played tune, Aughalee Heroes.
The band finish this fine recording with County Down and Rathfriland. Not my choice, but hey I'm not in the band.
I would heartily recommend this recording to be added to your blood and thunder section of your collection. Buy now, a must for the 12th morning.