Album Review: Union Jill – Respectable Rebellion (Self Release)
When Helen Turner and Sharon Winfield dropped the ‘Two’ moniker, things began to change for the York-based duo. Now re-established with the more google-friendly Union Jill, the duo have teamed up with Clive Gregson and John Wood, both in possession of first rate production credentials, having between them twiddled the knobs for a veritable who’s who of important British artists over the year including John Martyn, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Cat Stevens, Sandy Denny, Pink Floyd and Oysterband, to name but a few.
RESPECTABLE REBELLION, the duo’s third album to date and the first as Union Jill, sees the two singer/songwriters move up a notch or two with the help of Gregson on keyboards and guitars, Andy Seward and Mark Boyce on bass and drums respectively, together with Kate St John on a variety of woodwind instruments and accordion, in effect fattening up Union Jill’s already meaty sound. With the emphasis on meaningful lyrics and extraordinarily good harmony vocals, the duo are now equipped with the sort of credentials that may open doors that before remained shut.
Having steadily built a solid fan base on the live circuit since their inception seven years ago, the duo have now matched those live shows with an album to be proud of. With songs touching on subjects as diverse as the Suffragette Movement (Queen of Holloway), social injustice (Mad Alice), the Chinese cockle picker tragedy (Morecambe Bay) featuring some blistering violin courtesy of Ric Sanders, and our growing bystander syndrome attitude (Red on the Stair), the duo have created a solid album that deserves to taken notice of.