“Bonnie George Campbell” performed by Elle Osborne, from her LP So Slowly Slowly Got She Up
From the documentary The Ballad of Shirley Collins
By Mike Davies | the bright young folk review
While I’m ashamed to confess I wasn’t aware of Lincolnshire born singer Elle Osborne until the release of her almost wholly self-penned It’s Not Your Gold Shall Me Entice, its cover featuring her grandmother, who gave The Watersons their first club bookings, getting stuck into a festival drinking contest and underlining Osborne’s pedigree.
I was instantly hooked and have been eagerly awaiting this follow-up. Produced by Stereolab’s Joe Watson, it sports an intriguing title, apparently deriving from an observation made by her father and forming part of the lyric to the opening track, Birds of the British Isles.
The number makes references to knowing “the heft of heron and the light of blackbird calls” but not the country’s entire ornithological spectrum as a springboard for deeper concerns. She sings “I know what to say to people when they pick on you / And I’ve almost learnt to greet the haters with loving smiles”. Like many of her songs, she has knack of catching you offguard.
Alasdair Roberts reprises his guest appearance from last time around on harmonies, the album also featuring contributions from Alice Mary on guitar and bass and both Alex Neilson (who’s hailed her voice as a cross between Lal Waterson and Nico) and Stephen Hiscock on drums.Continue reading