The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145806   Message #3374801
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
11-Jul-12 - 04:11 AM
Thread Name: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs
Subject: RE: Lloyd & MacColl's Sea Song LPs

It's a matter of the perspective, and you may also chalk it up to my somewhat casual listening in this case. (Casual because, as much as I am interested in the shanty genre, I'm not very keen on listening to recordings for pleasure...would not even listen to my own meagre attempts!...and especially not such literal "out of the book" recordings as these.) I can certainly see how "they all sound like MacColl" could sound like a slight, but, clumsy as it was, it was just an observation.

I have the recordings in digital format in my "iTunes", where the artist is only listed as "Critics Group", and I swear that up to this point I thought that it was MacColl singing them all (in different shades of voices, as you say). I am not aware that there is something out there where people refer to "sounding like MacColl." Though I do remember, years ago, that I myself, being quite a big fan of MacColl's voice, being "accused" by someone of trying to sound like him. And I was not trying, though I may have been doing it unconsciously.

I made the remark here because they actually do sound to me to be singing the shanties in the style of MacColl --- that is, sound much more like MacColl than they sound like Lloyd or Killen or, really, anyone else I have ever heard sing shanties -- with one exception. The exception is that I feel I have heard many English shanty-singers of lesser renown, of recent decades, sound like that. Not all Chinese people look alike, but they look alike compared to your typical African, if you catch my drift.

Make no mistake that I love MacColl's voice -- it's tone. But for shanties -- for my taste -- it sounds a bit like someone on stage, too polished, too "straight." It's reigned in somehow, and I can almost see the notation when I hear it. Not "dirty" enough, and not enough variety from one verse to the next.