Opening with a splendidly crisp “Dr Gilberts” which I haven’t heard since the days of Five Hand Reel, the quartet of Andy Dinan (fiddle), Ian Fletcher (guitars and programming), Jon Thorne (double bass) and Richard Sliwa on percussion certainly know how to swing. Having caught my attention from the outset perhaps it’s just me but the one thing I’m not too sure about is the ‘jazz’ bridge which segues from the second tune to the third. There’s no doubt what a superb musician Fletcher is (as are the others) it’s just that for me at least it’s a step too far and a distraction from what is an otherwise brilliant set-piece. I suppose if you’re looking to compare artists…a good way to judge whether you’ll possibly like someone you haven’t heard before…then I’d say Ducie are nearer to Lunasa than the Bothy Band and every bit as exciting. Crossing genres is staple fare for a band of this quality and they don’t have any problem combining Celtic with Austrian, Afro-Cuban and even Reggae engaging the listener with enough technical dexterity to pass over the fact there are no vocals. This really is a delightful debut and will undoubtedly prove popular amongst connoisseurs of high end music.
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