No messing here as Welsh band Mabon take the stage for an opening set of driving reels “Hello Poppet/The Hustler” led by Jamie Smith’s accordion. Taking up the reins where Capercaillie once held court, with lively ‘kick ass’ folk-rock arrangements (predominantly all penned by Smith) you can tell why this line-up goes down a storm at festivals. There’s a certain joy that brings a smile to the face when you hear material this well presented and the rest of the band; Ruth Angell (fiddle), Calum Stewart (flute/pipes), Derek Smith (guitar), Matt Downer (bass guitar/upright bass) and Iolo Whelan (drums/ percussion) look and sound as if they were having a blast. The tunes, full of syncopated rhythms and downright funky grooves propels the music at breakneck speed leaving very few reflective moments as is so often the case with a purely instrumental album and I’m sure they’ll be giving Shooglenifty a run for their money. As is getting to be an industry standard these days, there is also an excellently filmed DVD to accompany the CD so that you can see our heroes in action. If you’re looking for something to fill the gap before your next ‘festival fix’ this recording will do nicely.
Artist’s website: https://www.jamiesmithsmabon.com/