When it comes to an album to mark Steeleye Span’s fiftieth anniversary, EST’D 1969 is exactly what you might have expected – a collection of songs that perfectly captures not only the band’s history but the spirit of the 2019 model. With all seven members contributing to the process, the album draws fresh inspiration from their template of traditional songs and consummate musicianship. At turns emotional, raucous and upbeat, it reflects the personalities and experience of all involved. Unavoidably there are throwbacks to the past (Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull’s flute on ‘Old Matron’, the harmony vocals on Reclaimed, the characters who inhabit many of the songs), but this is undoubtedly a modern Steeleye Span record and one that is more than worthy of a place in their esteemed cannon.
2. Old Matron
3. The January Man
4. The Boy And The Mantle (Three Tests Of Chastity)
5. Mackerel of the Sea
6. Cruel Ship’s Carpenter