Bostin’ Days: Various Artists – album review

albumcover4Bostin’ Days – A Tribute to the Levellers

[Self Released]

CD/DL Available now

9/10

Bostin’ Days is a self produced charity album by a variety of artists who have come together in a common cause to support the Devon Air Ambulance.  Alan Ewart checks it out for Louder Than War and reports on a project that hits the highest of heights.

Each year in August some 20,000 people descend on Escot Park near Exeter in Devon for Beautiful Days Festival.  Music fans and crew are united by a love of the Levellers, a unique festival atmosphere and the chance to enjoy great music with friends old and new.  2014 marked the 12th edition of one of the countries best festivals but as fans made their way home last year tragedy struck.

As the festival site was being dismantled a crane with a Telehandler toppled over and the crane driver and a worker in the suspended cage sustained serious injuries as a result.  The men were evacuated to hospital by the Devon Air Ambulance.

Fans of the festival who subscribe to a Facebook chat group had already made a number of charitable efforts in the past and the group is known for the kindness people have shown to others since it was formed.  On hearing about the accident members of the group wanted to raise funds for a charitable donation to the air ambulance.

One member, Addie Burns, had a brainwave and a top-secret project was born.  Rather than just asking for donations Addie felt that people may be more generous if they received something in return.  Addie contacted a variety of bands and asked them to donate a cover of a Levellers song to be compiled into an album to be sold to fans to raise the funds for a donation.

Addie confesses that he had no idea as to the scale of the task he was taking on.  However over 30 bands agreed to contribute to the project and over the next nine-months the recordings trickled in ready to be mastered into a coherent whole.  The initial concept was for the finished album to be made available as a download but many people wanted a physical copy so it was decided that a 30 track double CD and a download would be made available and in recent weeks the concept finally came to fruition as CD’s were posted and download codes sent out to those who made a minimum £10 donation for the download and £15 for the CD.

You might be forgiven for thinking that a project such as this would be variable in quality with engineering leaving a lot to be desired.  You would be wrong!  The bar is set extraordinarily high by the opening tracks on each disc.  Renditions of “15 Years” by the Leylines and “Is This Art” by the Noses are nothing short of stunning.  In many ways both bands were ideal to open the respective discs as both have something of the Levellers about them in terms of sound and attitude.  Both bands make the songs totally their own and they lay down a marker for every band that follows.

You would think that living up to such incredible heights would be a nearly impossible task.  You would be both right and wrong.  In this listeners humble opinion no-one actually surpasses the standard set in the opening tracks on each disc but by god do they match it.  Here you have reimagined versions of 30 fantastic Levellers songs.  Each track reinterpreted in a unique way.  Every artist has played their chosen track in their own way, there are no attempts to sound like the Levellers.  Every song has been courted, cherished, loved and and made into a whole that is remarkable in it’s consistency.

It is incredible to think that each song was laid down in a different studio in a different part of the country because the entire piece is mastered so beautifully that it sounds as if they were all recorded by the same engineer.  Every bands who contributed to this project and the Levellers themselves should be immensely proud of these songs.  This is a brilliant collection of songs that have been treated with care and respect and turned into something truly wonderful.

Of course I have my favourite tracks but I am not going to tell you which ones they are.  They are my favourite tracks primarily because I either love the song for one reason or another or because I like the way it has been reinterpreted to bring something new out of songs that I have loved for a quarter of a century.  You should get hold of a copy and work out which are your favourites too.

The one thing I will say is that no matter what you choose to pay for the album it will be cheap at the price and of course you will be helping out a great cause too.

I applaud those who devised and brought this amazing concept to fruition and I applaud those who gave their time to the engineering and mastering. Finally I applaud every artist who contributed their time and energy so very generously.

The artists who contributed are as follows:

The LeylinesScott Doonican & Dan BoothStevie SimpsonThe FolkestraEmma & The Professor, Doozer McDoozeGreenman Rising3 Eyed FoxThe Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican (feat. Maartin AllcockEliza CarthyMike Harding & Graham Oliver), Star BotherersFerocious DogMaelor HughesLukas Drinkwater & Hannah WoodSon PrimoGaz BrookfieldBrad DearLeatheratFunke & The Two Tone BabyHobo Jones & The Junkyard DogsPete Jackson & Lynn HoltParsons LotThe FanzinesThe Sweetchunks BandDavey Malone & The LongtailsScott DoonicanBleedin’ Noses, Shanks Pony, Bleeding HeartsFolk The System, The Travelling Dangleberries

       As an addition to the project the majority of those playing on the album are gathering for a day of fun at the Queens Hall, Nuneaton on October 17th for Bostin Days Live.  Tickets are £24.75 and a very limited number are

still available here

    .
    ~
      Bostin Days can be acquired for a charitable

donation here

      :  The project also has a

Facebook

    page.
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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

One thought on “Bostin’ Days: Various Artists – album review

  1. Pingback: Bostin Days Live – review | The Sound Of Summer

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