Zetor In the Kailyard, Collateral. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Desperate times can bring out the very best in people, it can enhance the artistic endeavour, it can find ways to hold a mirror up to culture and civilisation, to the individual just how their lives have taken a wrong turn, or give them a warning that to carry on the road of ignorance is to convey the message that society no longer matters, that we are just one step away from all being migrants, strangers, uninformed Collateral in a fractured world,

The history of humanity is dominated by migration, of escape, of finding a way to flee from persecution or to find a life that fits the dreams and aspirations in which we all believe we should at least be able to have a shot of achieving.

To take the feeling that we are nothing but security to a system that is holding us to ransom, to know we are not secure, that we have no reason to be safe in Government eyes, from the mass migration of the Irish population as they escaped famine only to be corralled into fighting a war not of their making and onto the modern migration in which some in Europe believe we should not help our African cousins; Collateral is the weapon in which are subject to and one in which creative Folk duo Zetor In the Kailyard tackle with their superb debut album.

To take on such an emotive issue is to open wounds that have never healed, to show that despite all the advances we have made, that still we find ourselves at the whim of Government policy, of mistreatment and the ever increasing distrust in our fellow travellers on the planet.

For Roddy Johnston and Kate Badcock, the album represents the vast wealth of the traditional songs and the aspiration to see the world come to a more binding agreement on how the various governments and leaders should see those who outnumber them.

The songs performed by the Scottish born duo, Jamie Raeburn, Pastures of Plenty, The Burning of Auchindoun, a very sublime version of Woody Guthrie’s Old Dusty Road, Broom O’ the Cowenknowes and the sense of encompassing hope in Scotland’s Story are polished, full of passion to set the world right, to make a verbal amend for the human disasters that has blighted our way of thinking.

A tremendously beautiful debut, an absolute credit to those that pushed Zetor In the Kailyard to the very forefront of the genre.

Ian D. Hall