BEOGA – Before We Change Our Mind (own label BEOGA 06)

Before We Change Our MindBefore We Change Our Mind is the fifth studio album from Antrim-based band, Beoga. Their line-up was completed in 2005 after their debut album by fiddler/vocalist Niamh Dunne who bought a new dimension to a band that was dominated by accordion and keyboards plus Eamon Murray’s dynamic bodhran playing which is still an essential ingredient in their sound. What they might change their minds about remains unclear.

The majority of Beoga’s music is written by box-players Seán Óg Graham and Damian McKee. Although there are four medley sets both Graham and McKee have a liking for single compositions that move maybe half a step away from the Irish tradition. Graham’s ‘Eochaid’, ‘Aurora’ and ‘Valhalla’ and McKee’s ‘Jump The Broom’ all exhibit the roots of the tradition but unostentatiously do something new with it. The last of these is a particularly lovely piece.

The songs come from outside the band. The lively ‘The Bonny Ship, The Diamond’ is the second new version of this old song that I’ve encountered so far this year – it could be the start of a trend. Tommy Makem’s ‘Farewell To Carlingford’ is treated to guitar – Graham, again – and Liam Bradley’s piano with the bodhran and McKee’s accordion showing great restraint in the background. ‘Like A Dime’ comes from Eamon O’Leary’s album, Old Clump, and ‘Wexford Town’ is a much older song from the Irish traveller musician, Pecker Dunne, probably best known for ‘Sullivan’s John’.

Before We Change Our Mind is a light-hearted album, sometimes wistful, sometimes exuberant and a perfect release for early summer.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website:

‘Eochaid’ – official video:

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