The Regent Theatre, Minehead, Somerset 13th December 2007
These virtuoso musicians – they are all superb instrumentalists – kept an audience enthralled with a two-hour programme of song, dance music and readings that was at least thirty minutes too short. This concert was so joyous, so uplifting and so downright heart-warming, that it was positively therapeutic. The group combines instruments and vigorous tuneful part singing to create an astonishing (and far too rare) sense of pleasure and excitement, full of gentle good-humour and all-round goodwill, all presented perfectly.
Cheltenham Town Hall, 2007
To the living and the dead alike, the Mellstock Band spoke, sang and made music which they could all understand and enjoy – and even threw in a marvellously costumed mummers play for good measure. They are obviously graduates with honours from some University of Entertainment unspecified in the programme. If you see the Mellstock Band advertised in your local paper, don’t delay, pick up a phone and book to see them.
© Peter Wyton
The Christmas Revels, Boston, Mass., 2008
The refreshing, earthy sounds of the early oboe, clarinet, concertina and serpent were truly music to my ears. In a world where most of the music we hear is highly processed and produced, there is something very honest about the presentation of folk music in a way that is unpretentious.
Douglas Yeo, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Feedback from Workshop & Concert at Glasbury Village Hall, October 2007
“Just a quick email to say thanks for organising such a great weekend. I much enjoyed the singing workshop. Amazing sound from all those voices . . . and great to be part of it. Concert was top too.”
“Thank you for a fabulous day … the best workshop we’ve ever attended . . . so much fun and energy.”
“Superb concert. Could The Mellstock Band come back next year, please?”
“Christmas isn’t Christmas without the Mellstocks.”
Susan Segal, Riverside Arts Centre, 2009
From a review of The Dance at the Phoenix:
They are England’s leading exponents of West Gallery style music . . . its skilful interweaving of Dorset songs and tunes, with Cotswold and even Northamptonshire pieces, together with nicely read prose both in the actorly style of Charles Spicer and in the sweetly executed Dorset dialect of Phil Humphries, adds up to a very substantial score on the pastoral “ah” rating. You cannot fail to be romanced and cossetted by this excellent recording.
From the opening track – Major Malley’s Reel – when the serpent “that rare boneshaker” first leaps into life, to the last track – The Girl I Left Behind – you are transported back to the time of Hardy and Dickens, and the fact that TV directors have already taken the opportunity to put Mellstock into costume dramas is not unsurprising. Get out and buy it!
– Tony Kendall, Living Tradition