No Roses

Caught Riding A Bicycle.....
The Alchemist Of Electric Morris
Fairport Convention
Steeleye Span
No Roses
Battle of the Field
The Compleat Dancing Master
The Etchingham Steam Band
Morris On
The Prospect Before Us
Live At The BBC: 1977/1982
Rattlebone and Ploughjack
Kickin' Up The Sawdust
Rise Up Like The Sun
Lark Rise To Candleford
Light Shining
Shuffle Off !
Under The Rose
A Christmas Present From The Albion Band
Stella Maris
The Wild Side Of Town
Live At The Cambridge Folk Festival
I Got New Shoes
An Hour with Cecil Sharp & Ashley Hutchings
Give Me a Saddle, I'll Trade You a Car
Sway With Me
Before Us Stands Yesterday
Christmas Album
Along The Downs
Street Cries
The BBC Sessions
An Evening With The Albion Band
Human Nature
As I Cycled Out On A May Morning
Visions of The Daughters of Albion
The Albion Band: The Final Round Up
Some Colours Fly
The Knitting Song and About Dawn
Rainbow Chasers Alive and Well
A Brilliant Light
The Albion Christmas Band
Albion Links

Shirley Collins and The Albion Country Band

No Roses 1971 [click for larger image]
Pegasus 7 (LP, UK, 1971)

No Roses
Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band

Pegasus 7 (LP, UK, 1971)
B&C CREST 11 (LP, UK, 1976) [rz]
Antilles AN-7017 (LP, US, 1976)
Mooncrest Crest CD 011 (CD, UK) [rz]

Produced by Ashley Hutchings and Sandy Roberton
for September Productions Ltd.
engineered by Jerry Boys, Victor Gamm & Roger Mayer
at Sound Techniques, Morgan & Air
Front and Centre photographs by Keith Morris
Back Photograph by Cecil Sharp

the ensemble
Shirley Collins - vocal
Ashley Hutchings - electric bass , percussion
Richard Thompson - electric guitar, lead electric guitar , slide electric guitar , acoustic 12 string guitar.
Simon Nicol - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocal chorus.
Dave Mattacks - drums, sticks
Ian Whiteman - piano
Roger Powell - drums
Tim Renwick - electric guitar, acoustic 12 string guitar
Lol Coxhill - alto saxophone
Maddy Prior - vocal harmony
Dave Bland - concertina, hammer dulcimer
Tony Hall - melodeon
John Kirkpatrick - accordian
Dolly Collins - piano
Nic Jones - vocals and last fiddle solo
Barry Dransfield - fiddle, vocal chorus
Francis Baines - hurdy gurdy
Alan Cave - bassoon
Alan Lumsden - ophicleide
Steve Migden - French horn
Colin Ross - Northumbrian small pipes
Royston Wood - vocal , vocal chorus
Lal Waterson - vocals
Mike Waterson - vocals
Gregg Butler - serpent
Trevor Cozier - Jew's harp

sleeve notes (CD release)
When this album was first released in 1971, it was regarded as adventurous, combining a traditional English singer with 25 musicians, some from a folk background, other from the fields of contemporary rock and early music. It was an experiment which grew into a triumph, and sprang from the talents of Shirley Collins and Ashley Hutchings, both pioneers of their own right, in the first year of their marriage. Shirley, widely regarded as the doyenne of English traditional folk singers, had recorded her first album in 1959 for the highly respected American Folkways label, and subsequent albums were regarded as milestones, notably Folk Roots, New Routes made in 1964 with guitarist Davy Graham and Anthems in Eden, made with her sister Dolly in 1969 - the first album to unite traditional songs with early instruments, under the musical direction of David Monrow. Ashley Hutchings, a founder member of Fairport Convention, had left that pioneering band at the end of 1969, after recording Fairport's seminal Liege And Lief, and, still hooked on traditional music, had then launched Steeleye Span.

No Roses was the album they made together, and Shirley still remembers it with pleasure: “It was my first venture into folk/rock and I suppose initially I didn't think my voice was right for it. Whatever accompaniments I've used, I've always sung in my own style, my natural singing voice, which is an extension of my speech. So it was the arrangements that overlaid the songs that gave the record it folk/rock feel. I've always been willing to experiment providing I believe I can keep the integrity of the music intact. That's paramount. I have a great love of English traditional music, and along with it a great respect for those people of the labouring classes who kept the songs going through the centuries as their only means of expressing themselves. It is an extraordinary feat, especially as many of them were illiterate. They've never been given enough credit or respect for their art. Instead, they've been scorned, despised and largely ignored. It's one reason why I've always named my sources. I trust that No Roses had that integrity, as well as strength and beauty in some of the arrangements and a great sense of fun and charm in others.”

Looking at No Roses with the benefit of hindsight, one presumes that Ashley and Sandy (Roberton, co-producer with Hutchings) were determined to make an epic album. “No, we didn't set out with that intention, but as the album progressed, the possibilities of what we could do became more and more apparent. At the start we didn't anticipate having 26 musicians on it, but that's how it finally turned out. There was never any conflict between the Fairport people and the other musicians. They were open-minded and interested in what others were doing anyway, and there was certainly a good feeling in the studio (Sound Techniques). The place was full of people who kept dropping in and staying on and asking to play on songs - just happy to be there. Nobody seemed baffled by what anyone else was doing, just a bit bemused perhaps by the variety of esoteric instruments that were coming in and out of the studio.”

“The critical reaction was pretty good - on the whole! One or two snipers, of course.” No Roses marked the debut of The Albion Country Band. The Albion Band continues to be the name used by bands led by Ashley Hutchings, although it was a name coined for use on this album. “We realised that with all those musicians it would probably be a good idea to give them a collective name and that was the one we came up with.”

So why was there never a second album? “I had two children from my first marriage, and we'd all moved to Etchingham in the Sussex countryside. I'd been touring all my singing life, away from home too much, and I wanted to be with Polly and Robert more, so I let my own career slip a bit, for the best of reasons. Ashley had formed a touring bend with the first of many line-ups and used the Albion name, and all our efforts went into trying to keep that going. When Ashley and I eventually parted, he took the Albion Band with him. No Roses stayed with me.”

- Shirley Collins


1.Claudy Banks

2. The Little Gypsy Girl

3. Banks Of The Bann

5. Van Diemen's Land

6. Just As The Tide Was A 'Flowin

7. The White Hare

8. Hal-An-Tow

All tracks (Trad. Arr. Shirley Collins), published by Roberton Brown
except [1] (B&R Copper), published by Copper Songs

related internet links
a passionate collector of folk-songs
and one of a group of Victorian
songhunters who fuelled a revival of
interest in England’s traditional music
at the end of the nineteenth century
from there to here and back again
the circle is never ending, nor is
the song
if you don't own No Roses we have
a jukebox with the entire recording 
on it, at our
A History of the Albion Bands website

 the ashley hutchings website
is  2002/2003/2004/2005/
all rights reserved