BATTLEFIELD BAND – Line-Up (Temple Records COMD2104)

The drama of an opening chord sequence to grab the listener’s attention was never an issue with the Battlefield Band. Starting with the driving rhythm of double stopped fiddle the momentum of the opening track “Raigmore” is regulated by the introduction of Highland Pipes painting a picture of say a battlefield scene from the movies Braveheart or Rob Roy. The following piece, a cover of Otis Redding’s  “That’s How Strong My Love Is” couldn’t be more different providing the band with their now established quirky ‘commercial’ song and will undoubtedly prove a sure-fire hit amongst the ‘folk’ fraternity. I won’t spoil your enjoyment (Twitter-like) by revealing the ‘link’ to the traditional element of our beloved music, you’ll just have to purchase the album yourselves whilst imagining the audience at a festival waving their arms in the air joining in with gusto. Whether utilising a song by Robert Burns, traditional melodies or their own self-penned material there is always much to admire from a band that is forever evolving and, it has to be said, they do it with great style. With this in mind and unfortunately due (I presume) to limited space in the CD booklet I’m unable to give individual credit to each of the members as the band members instrumentation along with their lead vocal performances aren’t listed under the titles of each song but needless to say that the latest incarnation of Mike Katz, Sean O’Donnell, Alasdair White and Ewen Henderson have taken the baton masterfully. I’ve never been disappointed by a performance or recording of the band since hearing their debut French album in 1976 and long may they continue.


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