Reviews of "Close Up"
Dave Rees - A New Day Records (UK magazine), August 2004

When Steve Harrison and Tom Andrews are not playing bass and drums respectively in the increasingly popular Tull Tribute band The Dayglo Pirates, they are playing in the equally impressive band, The Fold. This album was actually released in 1997, but I was only made aware of it when I saw them play the Lewes Festival last year, and several months later I actually found time to play the bloody thing, And WOW !, I was completely knocked out by it. They were excellent live, but I suppose I was expecting the usual poorly produced though well played set of some good and bad songs that you often get having bought an album on the strength of a good concert. But "Close Up" is a polished, highly professional set of excellent material. The genre is basically folk rock, but with a truly modern feel to it and top-notch playing and singing throughout. Echoes of The Levellers and even Chumbawumba are evident, but the finale of "Toujours avec Toi", a silky smooth jazzy ballad, demonstrates the incredible diversity of this great band. Available online.

Sean McGhee - Rock'n'Reel - March 1998

Brighton-based six piece roots-rockers have certainly matured into something pretty special on the evidence of "Close Up", their second album.

Consisting of a plethora of exhilarating compositions that, as well as displaying their roots, also goes in for the immediacy of today's dance crossover act, although never appearing cliched or out of their depth.

The distinct dual vocals of Steve Holland and Joanna Shiel upfront is a marriage made in heaven, with pop sensibilities rubbing shoulders alongside their command of harmony. Cleverly the band mange to steer clear of the roots-rock traps of over-intensity, displaying an acoustic subtlety that marks their writing as something special; and when it's required, the use of Hammond, "Katy Make Sure", propels proceedings onto greater things.

Aided and abetted by a superb production job, The Fold have taken their time to develop their ideas into an inspired album.

Greg Watkins - Venue - January 1998

"Close Up" is so full of goodies, I hardly know where to start. It's a refreshing change to review an independent CD that doesn't scream with comparisons to mainstream albums. The Fold sent us the CD after spotting Venue when they played at the Air Balloon. The opening track "Tumbling Down" sports some fiery violin soloing from Linda Game, whose adaptability shines through the whole work. All songs are written by guitarist Jon Wood so it's a real shock to find that the CD is devoid of guitar wigouts, instead it's fused with snazzy rhythm work and lots of textures. The songs are all dynamic, full of space and have a great rock edge with a few surprises to boot. I regret that I didn't see them at the Air Balloon. I'll make up for it next time because these songs are great, the band play like angels and I want it louder!

Geoff Wall - Folk on Tap - February 1998

The Fold, the band of passion who are the driving force behind electric folk, are back. And how! Longtime fans are already comparing the aptly-named "Close Up" to their acclaimed debut "Spiral" mini album. It sounds that good. Despite some line-up changes, vocalists Steve Holland and Joanna Shiel inject an empathic delivery into an emotionally-charged piece of work whose stature grows with every play. Producer Andrew Niel extracts performances that leave you marveling. Meanwhile, the killer rhythm section of Steve Harrison and Tom Andrews, guitar foil Jon Wood and virtuoso Linda Game, constantly up the musical ante. The results are epic, intimate and constantly compelling. In short, it's a helluva record.

Enrico Ramunni - Rockerilla - February 1998

It's undeniable that the debut mini CD "Spiral", released by Orange Sky, was full of good hopes for the future of The Fold, as we reported at the time on these same pages; it wasn't easy, however, to foresee that the passage to the full format would have coincided with such a relevant jump in quality, so that we can file "Close Up" near the recent works by Zaney Janey and The Bond upon the shelf containing the most exciting productions of English folk-rock of recent times. The band, led by guitarist Jon Wood, has by now been established as a six-piece with a three-way attack, made up of Steve Holland's and Joanna Shiel's harmonious vocals, Linda's sparkling fiddle, and sustained in the back line by a strong rhythm section consisting of Steve Harrison and Tom Andrews (bass & drums).

The change in line-up has coincided with a consistent transformation of sound, on one side more anchored to Tree's and Fairport's tradition - the latter are mostly recalled, for instance, in the alternating male/female vocal phrasing - with excursions reaching the experiments of Sonya Kristina and Blackgirls, and on the other hand more soberly injected with contemporary indie pop, mainly in the definition of some rhythmic solutions. These typically British ingredients, nourishing the swinging chorality of "Dizzy Again" as well as the seducing melody of "Tumbling Down", don't absolutely erase the transoceanic references that animated "Spiral", but rather amplify their reach: If Walkabout references were apparent before, now the fans of post-paisley sounds, such as Loud Family and/or Posies, will be enthusiastic for tracks like the powerful, electric "Wishing Tree", maybe the best song on the album - or the varied and breathless "Feeling the same"...

The divertissement of "Toujours avec toi", where Joanna is a little bit disguised as a sort of Isabelle Antena and where her rather minimal French has a curiously seducing effect, shoots the last picture of "Close Up", leaving behind a compelling desire for loading a new film very soon....