Reviews of "Spiral"
Geoff Wall - Folk on Tap - January 1996

Ever wondered what happened to Brighton's finest, Altogether Elsewhere? They released three superb EPs and played many memorable live gigs, but sadly split in 1994. The Fold started gigging as a five-piece in Autumn 1994 and consisted of two ex-AE members, Steve Harrison and Jon Wood, together with Steve Holland, Eamon McLoughlin and Tom Andrews. They added Vicki Smallwood on vocals in April 1995 to complete the six-piece line-up featured on this mini-CD collection.

From the energetic opening track "Don't freak", The Fold stamp their indelible print on our electric roots culture. The wonderful vocal harmonies on "Pull Me Up" perfectly match the swaggering guile of the band's rhythm section, whilst Steve Holland's vocalising on "Wretched Disguise" is stunning, as is Eamon McLoughlin's fiddle playing through the entire set. Vicki's beautiful singing on "Spiral Down" produces a euphoric rush that does the biz. It's steeped in an understated but immensely powerful sadness that stops the listener in his tracks.

Sadly, the half-hour running time of this triumphant mini-CD is over all too soon. I'll bet the band have dozens of blindingly lovely new songs just waiting to be released, but I can't wait any longer. I just have to see them live!

Rejoice, Altogether Elsewhere may be dead, but long live The Fold!

Tammi Baggley - Impact - April 1996

The Fold's growing reputation on the festival scene for great live performances stems from their diversity of musical styles. Last month they fiddled and strummed their funky path to Brighton's premier veggie drinking establishment, The George. Tammi Baggley followed close behind.

The Fold's recently-released six-track CD "Spiral" (Orange Sky), pulls together their musical style in a haunting yet stomping debut release.

Classically-trained singer Vicki Smallwood has been with the Fold for a year. Her harmonized vocals blend and contrast with those of Steve Holland, expressing both vigour and sadness. Tom Andrews' tight drumming provides the backbone of the tunes, fleshed out by the evocative fiddling of Eamon McLoughlin and the strumming of Jon Wood and Steve Harrison.

Simon Jones - Folk Roots - October 1996

The remnants of Altogether Elsewhere resurface with a pacy, strikingly tie-die music which tells of freaks, community, patterns in the sky and long ago yesterdays. Voguish shout protest along with a Celtic violin lend credence to a developing unit and a sound that's shaping up...

Enrico Ramunni - Rockerilla - April 1996

An interesting medium format debut by The Fold, a folk-rock sextet from Sussex, including former Altogether Elsewhere members and somehow close to the Mandragora clan, even though operating on very different musical co-ordinates.

Six tracks flow in a smart and direct way, dropping one by one on the board a series of cards that may not all be aces, and yet reveal an overall excellent diversity of instrumental solutions; the double option of male and female lead vocals (either Steve Holland or Vicki Smallwood), the succession of acoustic and electric guitars as well as fretted and fretless basses, the occasional adornment of an organ which is never too intruding, further increase the vitality of an already sparkling sound, often characterized by the sound of a fiddle (Eamon McLoughlin) wired to Celtic tradition. The guitarist Jon Wood signs all the compositions, starting from a captivating sequence "Don't Freak"/"Pull Me Up", that treats traditional folk ingredients with easy dancefloor-mined funky rhythms, nothing so new up to this point; however the following "Wretched Disguise" is a whipping vibration of nervous energy, a tensive and ailing ballad with shades of American sound, not far from the Walkabouts, the harsh poetry of Carla Torgerson and friends is evocated [sic] even more in the excellent folk'n'western track "Stare at the Sun", 'till it's finally dipped in the Dylanesque moods of the 'desire' period with the following "Still Love This Land". The Spiral has now reached its peak, lights are slowly dimmed, "Spiral Down" folds its wings in an ethereal Opal vision perfectly displaying Vicki's vocal distinction; at least as far as the four final tracks are considered, it seems that a new musical reality is happily UnFolding...

Sean McGhee - Rock'n'Reel - March 1996

The Fold are a fairly new six-piece act based in Brighton that includes two ex-members of well-respected roots-rockers Altogether Elsewhere. Far more rounded musically, The Fold deliver a smart line in exuberant chorus lines and hooklines a-plenty, with hints of funk bass and riffing adding to their accessibility on opener "Don't Freak" from their six track debut album "Spiral".

The Celtic-folk stylings are still there in the fiddle work of Eamon McLoughlin, but the dual male/female vocal attack of Steve Holland and Vicki Smallwood gives them a pop immediacy that is especially appealing. They're at their most rootsy'n'rocking on the Levelleresque "Still Love This Land", yet they're perfectly able to get all laidback and almost ambient on "Spiral Down". A surprisingly mature release for a band of comparatively new performers, that suggests many great things to come.