01. Two Match Lads
02. The Cabman
03. Working life Out
04. The Longshot
05. The Old Miner
06. The Handloom Weaver & The Factory Maid
07. Time to Get Up
08. The Last Man In The Factory
09. Working Town
10. William Brown

Megson – The Longshot

For the past few years Megson have been developing into one of the UK’s most vibrant and original duos on the contemporary folk scene.  They’ve deservedly been nominated for consecutive best duo awards at the BBC Folk Awards, but this new album is a step up in every respect and there’s a confidence and artistic maturity evident in the instrumentation, arrangements and songwriting.

The eleven songs of ‘The Longshot’ are loosely themed around work, and as with their previous albums there are roots to their home town in the North East of England.  There are songs here that cover over 150 years of working life, from a Hackney Carriage driver  in Newcastle in the mid nineteenth century (‘The Cab Man’), through to a family business closing down in hard financial times (‘Last Man in the Factory’).

Stu & Debbie’s previous album showed them to be good collectors of songs as they uncovered a good number of little heard pieces; once again their efforts to unearth gems has been fruitful, with a handful of traditional songs sitting amongst a few North Eastern songs that probably haven’t been heard in over a century.  While the collected pieces are strong, the real gems here are the quartet of self written songs, which not only demonstrate the skill and maturity of the duo, but also manage to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary to fit in beautifully with the other material.

This is a carefully considered and perfectly sequenced album, it starts on a low-key note with the delicate and open arrangement  of ‘Two Match Lads’, and then builds to the centrepiece of the album with ‘The Longshot’ and ‘The Handloom Weaver and the Factory’ that both sum up Megson perfectly, with a lyrically superb and poignant modern song, and a traditional song presented in an upbeat arrangement respectively.  The album is closed with ‘California’, a beautiful Megson composition that explores the Middlesbrough gold rush of the 1850s – the gentle refrain of the chorus is the perfect way to bookend this superbly balanced collection.

Given Stu’s production credits on the recent Show of Hands and Darwin Song Project albums, it’s no surprise that ‘The Longshot’ is an album of high production values, every instrument and vocals are perfectly recorded and the overall production is crisp and clean throughout.  As ever vocals are shared between the pair, and Stu’s guitar and mandola provide the majority of the backing, this album also sees Debbie on baby accordion and this adds depth to the overall sound.

Since their debut album Megson have developed in every area, and have earned a place at the front of modern English folk music through attention to detail and consistent quality in both their recorded works and live performances – ‘The Longshot’ continues that theme and is one of the finest contemporary folk albums in recent year, unreservedly recommended.



CD (Cat No: 13570)


Currently Out Of Stock

Listen to the album


More from Megson