Reviews

We Made the Steel

We Made the Steel


“The songs and sentiments on this fine CD give a fresh Antipodean slant to themes which will resonate across all the ex-industrial heartlands on this side of the world. A treat for listeners, as well as for performers looking for worthy and sing-able material.” – Jez Lowe


“Today we had the extraordinarily co-incidental experience of driving down the Mt Ousley hill at the precise moment that track 10 (‘Mt Ousley Breakdown’) came on as we listened to We made the Steel. Port Kembla was getting a mention as we drove past that as well. It’s a very enjoyable CD … you can be proud of it.” – Margaret Fagan


“Not only are the singing and playing on this disc uniformly excellent and highly characterful, but the actual presentation of this release is also exemplary…. A benchmark release; and highly entertaining and inspiring to boot.” – Folk Roundabout (UK) #167 [read the full review here]


“A CD packed with ripping yarns, dry humour, poignant laments and lots of great choruses … we can hear many of these songs becoming classic folk club material in future years.” – Living Tradition (UK) #96 [read the full review here]


“Outstanding among the Connaughton/Warner compositions is The Price of Steel, which tells of the effects of the steelworks’ pollution on the health of those living and working around them, and has echoes of Alistair Hulett’s ‘He Fades Away’.  … This is an album worth having for the songs alone, with the bonus that it tells a really good story as well.” – Shire Folk (UK) #123 [read the full review here]


“Albums like this can so easily lapse into beer-induced nostalgia and sentimentality, but this one mostly escapes, especially by means of its tight lyrics. … Though this is New South Wales, the songs are applicable to the steel industry anywhere in the world, especially the Don Valley.” Stirrings (UK) #155 [read the full review here]


“An entertaining CD for anyone interested in life in heavy industry, especially in the antipodes. There is an excellent booklet with the words of all the songs, which also has many images of the New South Wales steel industry.” – Tykes News (UK) Spring 2013 [read the full review here]


“This album is an absolute delight. It provides a slice of social history for this industry and era in a package containing a marvellous mix of mirth (evocative songs like the ‘Mount Ousley Breakdown’ and the brilliantly crafted and delivered poem ‘The Strange Death of Georgie Bell’) as well as wonderfully poignant songs such as ‘The Price of Steel’ which tells of the tragically poor health and safety aspects of the large steel mills in this era and is reminiscent of Alistair Hulett’s ‘He Fades Away’.” – Nigel Walters[read the full review here]


“This is a beaut CD from the (nominally-) shanty group The Roaring Forties. Drawing on Robin Connaughton’s memories of the Steel Industry, between 1960 and 1975 … augmented (and nagged along) by songster John Warner the group have produced a cross between the early BMC’s wish for a body of ‘industrial folk songs’ … and the BBC’s legendary “Radio Ballads” of the 1950s.” – Mulga Wire [read the full review here]

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