Originally unveiled last year, the Ghosts EP from UK outfit Cut Throat Francis has just had a re-release as an extended edition through ScreamLite Records. Offering four slices of the Bristol band’s acoustic gypsy folk swing, the release is a second chance for those missing its first appearance to discover a juicy treat for ears and body; one which really should not be missed.
Formed in the summer of 2017, the quartet of vocalist/percussionist Harriet Hayes, guitarist Randolf Morton, bassist Danny Riches, and Jonny Staines on mandolin and banjo quickly whipped up local attention and venues with the lively flirtatious sound now fuelling their debut EP backed by successful festival appearances. The second unveiling of Ghosts given the push it deserves will surely give a potent nudge to richer and broader attention, national appetites destined to be on greed alert hereon in with the luck all introductions need.
The EP opens with the quite irresistible I’m Not Ready; the song four minutes plus of virulent energy and infectious enterprise. A stroke of guitar is the first tease, Hayes’ magnetic voice the second with swinging grooves wearing Eastern European flavouring swiftly following. Like a blend of Molotov Jukebox and The Penny Black Remedy flirting with The BeauBowBelles, the track had feet shifting and hips swinging in no time with its chorus seeing a bold escalation as vocal chords also refused to show restraint.
Individual prowess is as rich behind the song as united enterprise, a core just as potent as the EP’s title track follows. Ghosts is a gentle serenade with a just as tenacious if more understated swing compared to its predecessor. Magnetism is certainly as thick and forceful though, Hayes’ alluring tones as strongly backed by the voices of the rest of the band and their melodic manipulations. Once more an instinctive sway took hold of us to match the song’s; it’s inescapable contagion deceitful in its apparent calm but perpetually fuelled by the lope of the bass and the caress of the various picked strings.
New track Hubert is next, another sauntering along with a knowing swagger bringing a touch of bands like Tanks The Henge with it through its more gypsy punk nature. Male vocals lead this time, their raw rasp a great lilt contrasting the warmer textures making up its melodic swerve, one soon infesting limbs and heart.
The EP ends with These Last Kind Words, a track featuring the guest fiddle prowess of Susan Moffatt. It too has a gypsy punk edge to its vibrant folk canter, banjo whipping up song and appetite with its mischievous chords as vocals entice. Feeling like it was recorded live, the track is a rousing conclusion to one highly addictive proposition, one suggesting seeing the band live has to be a must at some point in time.
Quite simply, the Ghosts EP is a treat and if like for us it escaped you first time around we suggest you make amends now; just be sure to get your hips and imaginations are ready.
The Ghosts EP is available now through ScreamLite Records @ https://screamliterecords.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 05/06/2018
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