Celtus Moonchild (Sony 487715 2)

Debut album of the incredibly talented Celtus, who were previously the hugely successful hard rock band Mama’s Boys. Formed after the death of their drummer brother Tommy. John and Pat McManus from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland wrote the incredibly, mystical music to produce this fabulous album. A total change back to their musical roots. I have heard them described as Clannad/Enigma meets U2. At this point they were a five-piece band including fiddle, whistles, drums, guitar and keyboard. The haunting, atmospheric opening track of  “Strange Day in the Country”, after which we hear “Moonchild”. A track that promotes peace in the lyrics through beautiful harmonies, a powerful number that appears to be the favourite of most people who hear this album. Then Every Step of the Way, a more up-tempo track, followed by Some Kind of Wonder, with rich harmonies from the McManus Brothers. Brothers Lament was the first piece of Music John felt he could do after the death of his beloved brother; he picked up Tommy’s whistle and composed this song. Beyond the Dark, Love Turns to Dust, Rosa-Ree all give us this self-penned Celtic, lilting harmonies, we then come to the enigmatic The Pilgrim,  another favourite.. Trikuti, an instrumental with Johns whistle leading, and we end with We Two are One. We have two of All Ireland Champions – Whistle player John and Pat on his Fiddle, with guitar, bouziki, mandolin etc. A must have in any serious music lover’s collection.

Jean Camp2nd of November 2001

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