What a wonderous and majestic project from Frances Lickerish, founding member and guitarist from the Enid. So beautiful and earthy. Picture yourself in a medieval court in days of old with brave knights and lusty ladies. Are you there, listening to the court band playing? Hear the lutes, balalaikas and flutes? Now add a bit more oomph!
Horns prominent, strings singing, and voices all recalling ancient times with a modern feel. This alternately sounds like Celtic or Renaissance music. Not the band with Annie Haslam (although there are some similarities there in Hilary Palmer’s voice, along with Kate Bush references), but in the classical sense. A full orchestra contributes to the Secret Green project, along with other ex-Enid personnel like William Gilmour and Robert John Godfrey. The deliberate plucking strings and featured horns with minimal percussion also sometimes recall musical theatre.
My personal picks include the “Guinevere Suite,” which includes tracks five through nine and cover over 20 minutes of gorgeous symphonic rock in the truest sense of the term. Also, “Echoing Green” features the truly excellent guitar work of Mr. Lickerish. Although this type of music does not seem like it would adapt well to an electric guitar treatment, he makes it so it seems natural and fluid.
If you are adventurous and willing to pick up something a little out of the ordinary, this does not sound like anything else currently being produced. If it is to be compared to anything, call it folk-prog or take it back to the original Enid recordings.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on October 31st, 2009