Hobgoblin Music, 40 Years. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

We are told as children that in the woods live all manner of creatures and furry things with ears, beings that will eat us up if we stray from the path, that they will snatch us, make us disappear and end up in the broth boiling away in the middle of the woods. There are those creatures though that despite the initial fear of what lays beyond, have only your best interests at heart.

For 40 years Hobgoblin Music have bought some of the finest musicians available to the ears of those who stand on the edge of the woods, hearing the music that the small furry creatures make and who desire to come deeper into the folk groove and dance with those hobgoblins. For any record company to celebrate such a milestone is impressive, especially in this day of rampant, unspeakable commercialism, to continually put the artist at the forefront of the venture is something any aspiring performer can only ever ask for in return for their soul to be completed.

Founded in the autumn of 1976, Hobgoblin Music has been a beacon in which to feel the heat of performance and in this anniversary collection, the talented who wandered into the wood and saw their songs being treated, quite rightly, as distinguished and sincere, have found that the hobgoblin is a generous and fantastic supporter of their craft.

In this 40th Anniversary collection bands and solo performers such as The Teds with their song An Ordinary Life, Pete McClelland’s Walk This Road, Nicola Rain & Sarah Mooney’s Letters From the Sea, the Paddywhack’s Spanish Lady and Neil Campbell’s Haggard Rider have once again been seen to be illustrious because of backing given to them by a label that gets the point of expression and musical thought.

Making music possible is the mantra, and as artists as Georgia Lewis, Mike Ross, Leeds Shop Staff and Jacquelyn Hynes have been able to show, music is pretty much the most important part of life, without it, without art, existence is reduced down to just a series of nuts and bolts and a society made to suffer.

Major anniversaries don’t come round all that often, the best get to celebrate them because they find a way to keep life interesting and positive, Hobgoblin Music is more than worth saluting.

Ian D. Hall