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Steeleye Span's Maddy Prior talks murder ballads and Dodgy Bastards

On their 23rd studio album, Steeleye Span mine the dark depths of English folk, while giving the treasures they unearth a 21st-century polish

If you want to convey the notion of something stretching as widely and imaginatively as it can from end to end, and of a group that have done just that over a remarkable lifetime of 47 years, Span’s the word you’re looking for.

Dodgy Bastards is the latest instalment in the time-honoured electric folk narrative of Steeleye Span, and it’s every bit as entertaining as its title. The album is the latest example of how they go backwards to go forwards, and of their expertise in using the deep-rooted song tradition of the British Isles to their advantage. The album is so 1880s, it’s positively 2017.


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