Stocai After The Brawl
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After The Brawl (Harbourtown Records, UK)

Stocai is a six piece English Dance Band combining bagpipes, bassoon, concertina, flute, guitar, keyboards, mandola, mandolin, melodeon, percussion, violin and whistle. Stocai brings together six musicians with a rare understanding of dance music who draw on English, French, Scandinavian, Quebecois, Old Time American dance music traditions. This is their second recording.

236 / The Cutter
Hornpipe / Dune
Chocolate Dog / Felix Aus Der Asche

Stocai are:

Tracks: (listen to highlighted songs)

About the band, in their own words:
Having begun his performing career as a guitarist and song writer, Kevin Adams took up the fiddle so he could get to play the tune for a change. In Stocai he constitutes a one man string section, providing rhythm on octave mandolin with fiddle and mandolin leads. He still writes and performs songs for documentary drama productions and BBC Radio broadcasts with the Living Archive Project, and has recently released a CD of his own songs from some of these shows. In another (electric) ceilidh universe he is a member of Stömp.

Nothing if not eclectic, Adam Bushell is close to the heart of all sorts of diverse music scenes. As well as bringing his distinctive groove to Stocai he is the founder and principal percussionist with the Tacet Ensemble, playing the classical music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and is a regular with orchestras in the Brighton area. On the funky side of town, he plays vibes and percussion with K-Scope, Vogue Gyrator and Urban Myth. On top of all this, he coaches percussion for the Brighton Youth Orchestra and runs the BYO Bashers percussion ensemble, plays guitar for Broken Ankles Appalachian Cloggers, dances morris with Stepback, and occasionally has time to sleep.

Playing keyboards, Heather Horsley has provided a solid foundation for many bands to build on. Influenced by, and involved in traditional music for many years, she first played with Step and Fetcher from Bampton, Oxfordshire. Continuing with the traditional flavour, she has played with the Old Swan Band since 1983, is a founder member of Token Women, with whom she adds flute, whistle and vocals to her keyboard skills.

Dave Jolly first encountered the world of traditional music as a teenager with Moulton Morris. Despite this he has gone on to gain a considerable reputation for his melodeon and concertina playing at clubs and festivals, both with his popular ceilidh band, Pandemonium, and as a solo artist. Dave also runs Jollybox - 'For All Your Squeezables' - a retail outlet providing all types of squeezebox and offering a full range of spares as well as tuning and repair services.

Sheena Masson grew up playing the small-time dance venues of Warwickshire, cut her calling teeth with Northampton's very own Pandemonium and went to London to seek her fortune. She is earning a reputation as one of the country's leading female callers and is the stun-concertina operator with the trendy teen-thrash folksters Stömp . In Stocai, Sheen can be seen underpinning the band's sound with harmonic bassoon lines as well as offering concertina and flute leads.

Chris Walshaw on pipes, flute and whistles has been ceilidh dancing since the tender age of six (with occasional breaks for teenage angst). Currently he plays with Zephyrus (the English Bagpipe Orchestra) and The Chase and has occasionally guested with Chris Wood, Andy Cutting and Cliff Stapleton in the Waltzer. Chris has also worked with Jean-Pierre Rasle in his Radio 3 production of Cornemusiques - a potted history of French Bagpiping - and has subsequently performed in the live show of the same.

A strong theme running through Stocai's music is the amount of newly written material. As well as borrowing tunes from well known musicians such as Cliff Stapleton and John Kirkpatrick, all of the band write tunes and so the problem has been what to leave out. Apart from that, the band's influences are eclectic and diverse; you will hear also French, Irish, Quebecois, Scandinavian and good old English tunes, all moulded into a style of Stocai's own.

Such is the range of instruments at the band's fingertips that the sound can vary from delicate woodwind tracery through to the full broadside (the acoustic equivalent of Spinal Tap's 'eleven').

And the name? It is taken from the tune title `Polka Sean Stocai' from The Late Night Band, so best ask them!

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