Dipper Malkin, Tricks Of The Trade. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

Never learn the Tricks Of The Trade, learn the trade, learn the skill and make the very best of it completely, for in the whisper of knowledge stands reason, stands beauty and fulfilment and it something that Dipper Malkin, a superb duo of Folk musicians with a proud pedigree, have gone all out to prove as they give willingly a new lease of life to an instrument from the baroque period, viola d’amore, and the influence that comes with such grand expression.

John Dipper and Dave Malkin have nothing to prove as far as their talent goes, obvious, intriguing and full of life, and yet in their combined debut release, Tricks Of The Trade, they use the past to convey the present as a single moment, one that was always inevitable, one that could never be anything else but the result of different paths converging at the right space in time and with a swagger, an unblemished knack of taking those who try to deceive with their art and dupe the listener into feeling foolish, feeling done in by the events they have been, in their minds, party to. Dipper Malkin take a harsh line with such infidelities, such acts of faithlessness and offer the only response possible, a set of songs that offer a straight bat, and one that is carved from solid granite.

Aided by the young Jazz musician of the year, the talented Corrie Dick, Tom Dennis and Ben Corrigan, Tricks Of The Trade is one of sublime elegance, of rapture and loyalty; there is not a sense, a whiff, a single ounce of anything in the album that could be taken as an act of betrayal to the scene.

In songs such as King Storm, Ceri’s March/Weaver’s March, Mrs Chambers/Emmaline’s Vals and All Things Are Quite Silent, the pairing of John Dipper and Dave Malkin works superbly, there is not enough space to feel the gap between notes and the outcome is a sense of unity, of solidarity that is undaunted and organised, all of this without ever losing its sense of honour.

Tricks Of The Trade is an enjoyable album, one of deftness and consistency.

Ian D. Hall