Tirade comes out the speakers at you like a cavalry charge as Eddie Seaman winds up his Highland bagpipes and Iain Copeland hits the drums. The tune is ‘Angry Piper’s Tirade’ by Hazen Metro and it is described as pushing the boundaries – I really don’t think bagpipes were ever designed to do this.
Eddie is originally from Edinburgh and is a member of Barluath, a six-piece band with a twin pipes front row. Luc McNally comes from County Durham, a fact which quickly becomes obvious. He’s a member of both Dosca and Sketch and a former member of Kathryn Tickell’s Folkestra Youth ensemble. The title track is not entirely typical of the album but Eddie and Luc have proved how hard they can be and now can relax a bit.
‘On A Boat’ is a particularly fine set with Eddie doubling on whistle and pipes while allowing Luc to solo the first ninety seconds or so and it’s only when Eddie comes in that you realise that’s what was happening. Copeland plays darabuka which gives a different texture to the set. ‘Not Enough Triplets’ consists of a pair of Irish tunes that belie the set’s title. What we used to call a finger-breaking workshop. ‘MSR’ is a rather more stately set of a march, a strathspey and a reel in the traditional manner while ‘Infinite Space’ is another contrast being a gentle guitar and whistle tune married to a composition by Madeleine Stewart who joins the duo on violin.
There are four songs, all sung by Luc. The first is ‘Harry Brewer’, an old and very powerful song by Nick Burbridge. Luc’s voice is rather light but the arrangements support him well. There’s a nice twist as Eddie opens ‘Here’s The Tender Coming’ on the Highland pipes where we are more used to hear the Northumbrian variety. Third is ‘Byker Hill’, one of the tracks on which Eddie plays bouzouki, and finally comes ‘Elsie Marley’ paired with one of Eddie’s tunes. ‘James Bruce Of Wick’.
A glance at the cover might suggest that Tirade might be a rather austere album but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s one I’ve very much enjoyed.
‘Elsie Marley’ – official video: