VIDEO WALL 7

It has been a while since we posted a video wall but some goodies have been arriving recently. A few are related to upcoming releases and some are just for fun.

We begin with Serious Sam Barrett and an unofficial taster for his new album Where The White Roses Grow which will be reviewed here very soon. This is a live take on the title track.

From another album that will be reviewed soon, this is Mandolin Orange and ‘The Wolves’ from the album Tides Of A Teardrop.

Skinny Lister’s new album The Story Is… will be released on March 1st. This is the official video of the title track.

We have already reviewed Anne Marie Almedal’s album Lightshadow. Here’s her version of The Cure’s ‘Lovesong’.

We will always review an album from the mighty Breabach.  Here’s the single, ‘Birds Of Passage’, from their most recent album Frenzy Of The Meeting.

We missed this one when it was released last year but it’s a song that deserves a hearing. Tommy Ashby sings ‘Bowlegged’.

Seeing that Richard Thompson is our top solo artist of 2018 – Charlie Foskett thought he’d post you this Thompson penned piece of sadness from his forthcoming debut folk album collection Bugles And Bagpipeswww.foskettsfolkfactory.com – It’s almost completed and hosts many high profile guests whose magical, musical input you are just going to love – including Peter Knight and Rick Kemp (ex Steeleye) – Aidan Burke (cousin of Kevin Burke – Bothy Band and Ireland’s number celtic fiddler for the last 22 yrs – Julie Felix (duet) – Simon Care (Albion Band ) – Chris Spedding – Wizz Jones – Mike Wilson and Damian Barber (Demon Barbers) – Judie Tzuke and more !

The official album launch will be early summer 2019 along with a big, big promo campaign and tour to follow with his newly formed band The Pitmatics! – www.pitmatics.co.uk

Charlie says:

I originally recorded and produced the first version of ‘Nothing at the End of the Rainbow’ in 1986 with Elvis Costello – I was working with Elvis and Loudon Wainright III on other material at the time for EMI Records – I remember receiving a cracker review saying that I had produced “A Song to Slit one’s Wrists to” ! that was the headline – nothing’s changed there then! This, my own version also features Peter Knight on fiddle!

Mostly for fun now. Here are our old mates Merry Hell and ‘My Finest Hour’ from their album Anthems To The Wind. A wonderful euphemism.

 

 

BREABACH – Frenzy Of The Meeting (Breabach Records, BRE005CD)

Frenzy Of The MeetingHaving toured the world, won awards and created an immensely successful album, Astar, zinging with creative fusion, what would Breabach do next? Judging by their latest album, Frenzy Of The Meeting, released in late October, the answer seems to be to find a revitalised inspiration in the traditional music of home.

Never a band to stand still, Frenzy Of The Meeting finds Breabach testing new waters once again. As usual, tracks were initially laid down live in the studio in order to capture the band’s essential sound. The band then enhanced these tracks during further studio sessions, in collaboration with producer Eamon Doorley. The final result is still absolutely Breabach, but in a subtly fleshed out way.

Starting with Bonnie Prince Charlie landing on a chilly beach on Eriskay, the low-slung guitar and bass of ‘Princes Strand’ provide solid ground for a rather wistful tune carried by whistles and pipes, as well as forming the link to ‘Knees Up’. This uplifting two-tune set pits ferocious piping against Megan Henderson’s soaring vocals.

Delicate bouzouki wreathes through ‘Winter Winds’, Calum MacCrimmon’s utterly beautiful song comparing the changing weather to the healing nature of time, “give it time and the sky will change”. Sharply switching mood, the stomping opening to ‘Western Isle Dance’ pairs a lively traditional tune with James Lindsay’s more reflective musing on the nature of alternative facts.

Ewan Robertson and Michael Farrell’s thoughtful ‘Birds Of Passage’, inspired by Longfellow’s poem of the same name, contemplates aspects of migration, its upwardly spiralling instrumentation mirroring the lyrics. The ballsy, sinuous ‘Google This’ follows, intriguingly paired with a traditional waulking song which sounds like it shouldn’t work, although – of course – it does.

The title track, ‘Frenzy Of The Meeting’ opening with a deep bowed bass and lithe fiddle bubbling over mouth harp, is a darkly delicious meshing of Henderson’s tune ‘Incahoots’ with the low chant of a traditional Ceòl Mòr. The album wraps up with ‘Oran Bhraigh Rusgaich’ which builds on its core of atmospheric harmonium drone, airy reverb and sparse guitar into a grand climactic finale, leaving just a trace of whistles hanging on the air.

Frenzy Of The Meeting may not have quite the same immediacy as its predecessor, but it has a satisfying deep richness and texture all of its own. It’s a fascinating new development in Breabach’s work, building yet more layers, more experiment and versatility into their sound.

To see this album in live performance, catch Breabach on tour around the UK now and until February 2019.

Su O’Brien

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‘Birds Of Passage’ – official video:

Breabach announce new album

Breabach
Photograph by Stuart Curnow

Frenzy of the Meeting is the latest release from multi award-winning Scottish folk band Breabach. Continuing to build on the ideas and experimentation from their 2016 album Astar, this new work is explorative and creative. The new release also sees the band take exciting steps towards developing a more expansive sonic landscape.

Tracked live by the band over a week in June 2018, their aim was to capture the raw essence of the live energy and musical dynamic they have become so well-known for. More studio time followed, with a focus on experimentation and sonic production, with the final result being their most adventurous album to date.

Produced in collaboration with Eamon Doorley (Julie Fowlis, Danu) and engineered by Iain Hutchison, Frenzy of the Meeting also features stunning original artwork by Somhairle Macdonald.

Alongside traditional songs and contemporary tunes there are original compositions from each band member with the material largely themed on todays frenzied experience of global politics, media and the natural world as well as focusing on the positive fevered hive of innovation, creativity and pioneering music within the Glasgow music scene, to where the band belong.

The theme is further reflected in the hectic 2 years of global touring post release of Astar. In that time the band have picked up ‘Best Folk Band’ and ‘Best Album’ at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards as well as nominations for ‘Best Group’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and ‘European Album of the Year’ in the Songlines Music Awards.

As with Breabach’s first two albums, the title is taken from an ancient Piobaireachd that features on the album. Acknowledging and respecting the origins of both the music they play and the roots of the band whilst embracing the future with new ideas, energy and belief is a key attribute of the band and another theme that is strongly conveyed through this new release.

Frenzy of the Meeting will premiere live on Breabach’s upcoming UK tour this November.

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Artists’ website: http://breabach.com/

Live at Celtic Connections 2017:

BREABACH – Astar (Breabach BRE004CD)

BREABACH AstarWith most albums it’s good to have the sleeve notes to hand when listening. With Breabach’s sixth outing an atlas is just as important. Astar means distance or journey in Gaelic and the musical ideas are drawn from all round the world.

The album opens with ‘The Midnight Sun’ written by piper James Duncan Mackenzie and inspired by a visit he paid to Tromso to run a marathon on midsummers day when the sun never actually sets. It begins with an oddly oriental sound, presumably an attempt to imitate the sound of a kantele. That is followed by a set of three compositions inspired by the rhythms of the Haka. The parts of ‘Muriwai’ are written by Calum MacCrimmon, Scott Morrison and Mackenzie.

There is brief return to Scotland with Dick Gaughan’s ‘Outlaws And Dreamers’ before we’re off to Scandinavia again with ‘Farsund’, the title track of the medley being composed by Megan Henderson. The third part of the medley is the first traditional tune on the album, ‘Wee Totum Fog’, which itself has an interesting history. ‘Mo Thruaighe Leir Thu ‘Ille Bhuidhe’ gives Megan her first lead vocal of the collection and then we’re off again, this time to Australia. ‘The White Sands Of Jervis Bay’ begins with a ceremonial song from the Aborigine tradition called ‘Guka Manikay’ while MacCrimmon and Mackenzie composed the title piece. It’s interesting to note that no-one seems to have come up with a more politically correct term for the original inhabitants of Australia.

‘Les Pieds Joyeaux’ is inspired by the Quebeçois tradition even though the tunes themselves are Scottish – Le Vent Du Nord join Breabach on vocals for this one. Then there is a visit to the Hebrides for a waulking song and a tune inspired by the waulking rhythm. It would be appropriate to stay in Scotland now but Ewan Robertson’s ‘Ribbon Of Fire’ is a song inspired by the band’s tour of the antipodes and ‘The Last March’ takes us to Cape Breton.

Astar is an album full of musical imagery and imagination – a melting pot of ideas that is varied and satisfying. This could be Beabach’s best.

Dai Jeffries

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Artists’ website: http://breabach.com/

Breabach live on their 2015 Highland Blast tour:

Breabach’s new album is on the way

Breabach's new album is on the way

Release Date Friday, 11th March, 2016

Voted ‘Best Live Act 2013’ & ’Best Folk Band 2012‘ at the Scots Trad Music Awards and twice nominated ‘Best Band’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; Scottish five-piece Breabach deliver a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk music that has earned them international recognition on the world and roots music scene as one of the UK’s most dynamic and exciting bands.

After a whirlwind five years traversing the globe, touring Australia, New Zealand, Asia, North America, Scandinavia and the middle East, Breabach are delighted to announce their fifth studio album Astar (translating from Scottish Gaelic as distance or journey). The music on the album takes inspiration from the beauty of both the places and people the band have visited and the wonderful musicians and cultures encountered along the way. Working with producer Greg Lawson (Moishes Bagel, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, GRIT Orchestra) the band have taken melodic, rhythmic and harmonic ideas from each of the countries they have visited. Some of this is woven into the arrangement, some of this is achieved through self-penned works. Through it all however, it’s their Scottish roots that remain at the core of the recording with work from Burns, Dick Gaughan and Donald Macleod finding it’s way into the mix. Augmenting the album will be some special guests including Yidaki player Mark Atkins (AUS), extraordinary Aborigine artist Yirrmal of Black Arm Band (AUS) Maori tradition bearer Scott Morrison (NZ), Quebecois violinist Olivier Demers of Le Vent Du Nord (Quebec) and Hardanger virtuoso Olav Luksengård Mjelva of Nordic Fiddlers Bloc (NO).

Breabach unite the talent of Calum MacCrimmon (pipes/whistles/bouzouki/vocals), Ewan Robertson (guitar/ vocals), James Mackenzie (pipes/flute/whistles), Megan Henderson (fiddle/vocals/stepdance) and James Lindsay (double bass). Since launching their career as winners of the Open Stage Award at Celtic Connections in 2005 the band have steadily moved from strength to strength, picking up accolades and performing at esteemed events along the way. The 2016 release of Astar sees them reaching new levels of their musical ambition and maturity.

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Artists’ website: www.breabach.com

 

Blockbuster FolkWeek 60th Anniversary Acts Announced!

2014LOGO_chair_60th_distressed_lo_res_2Diamond anniversary plans continue to fall into place for Sidmouth FolkWeek’s 60th festival (1st – 8th August 2014) as the line-up comes to fruition, featuring both gems from the archives – tapping the rich seam of vintage talent that has contributed to the festival’s glory down the years – and a hand-picked selection of the stars of the future.

SHOWSTOPPING HEADLINERS…
We are delighted to announce that one of the UK’s greatest musical storytellers, Ralph McTell, will be joining us for a rare and very special appearance at our Pre Festival Special on Thursday 31 July.
Celebrating more than 40 years on the road himself, Ralph is a Sidmouth veteran, having played at the Arena for the 50th festival in 2004. A Lifetime Achievement Award winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Ralph is renowned for both his virtuoso guitar style and his gift as a songwriter, most notably the poignant Streets of London.

Other headliners throughout the week include:
England’s number one traditional singing family The Copper Family; legendary ambassadors of Scottish music, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham; Irish songbird Cara Dillon; festival patron and local hero Steve Knightley and Friends; one of Scotland’s freshest new acts Breabach; the ultimate family duo Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy; the solid gold Oysterband – old friends of Sidmouth playing both a concert and an extra special ceilidh; an exciting new ensemble bringing together Northumbrian folk traditions and classical Kathryn Tickell & The Side; the ever-popular pairing of Chris Wood and Andy Cutting; the pioneering Quebecois Yves Lambert Trio; new powerhouse trio of Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr; crack Canadian fiddling, electric step dancing, sweet singing from April Verch Band; the side-splitting comic genius of New Rope String Band; vibrant Danish dancefloor-fillers Habadekuk; the galvanising Celtic instrumental union Kan; quirky acoustic festival favourites Moulettes; the soaring pipe driven tunes of Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson and a swinging 60s Silent Disco night.

A special WW1 Commemoration will be staged on the 4th August, the exact 100 year anniversary of the start of the war. Gentle Men: a history of the First World War through the lives of Pt Ern Johnson & Pt Harry Jenner, is an evocative and personal account of the 1st World War performed by Roy Bailey & Robb Johnson.

A special occasion deserves some special plans. Here’s a taste of what’s in store….
As FolkWeek means so many different things to different people, we aim to celebrate all week with special events in each part of the festival…from special guests from the very early years of Social Dance, where the festival began in 1955, in a Grand Anniversary Dance, as well as some vintage ceilidh bands, including Old Swan Band’s special anniversary ceilidh; some Diamond Geezers from the world of music and song; tales from festival friend and Storytelling Laureate Taffy Thomas; a beating traditional song and music heart; the return of some of the most influential Morris teams over the years and plans afoot for some special overseas guests who will bring back memories of Arena shows.

With an eye on the future generations, there will be a key role for festival founders English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS) with their Folk Rising Plus concerts celebrating the new generation of folk music talent and the popular fRoots-sponsored Cellar Full of Folkadelia return. Sidmouth-born Shooting Roots youth sessions come of age as they plan to celebrate their 21st and the Children’s Festival promises extra special party atmosphere!

Getting together a milestone festival like the 60th is a mammoth enterprise, bringing the return of old favourites and new innovations. Our focus has to be on bringing our guests a special and memorable programme right across the Festival.

Festival Director John Braithwaite says: “For that reason, in 2014 we will be staying at Bulverton with our much loved and well established Festival Campsite and Festival Clubhouse. To ensure that our customers and guests knew as early as possible, with absolute certainty, what our plans were for this year, we set a deadline of end of January for any changes to this area of the Festival. Needing planning permission to go forward has pushed the project past the deadline date. So that customers can book with certainty, we decided to announce our intentions as early as possible, so that we can concentrate on giving guests a blockbuster festival to remember!”

“We are already feeling the excitement of this year’s event, bringing, as it will, a host of memories and new experiences for our guests in every part of the Festival. We look forward to welcoming back old friends, and new ones alike, to experience a very special 60th Sidmouth FolkWeek.”

For more details, visit www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk
Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre: 01395 577952