PEATBOG FAERIES – I See A World (Peatbog Records CDBOG009)

I See A WorldWe know the Peatbog Faeries. From Skye with a sound as big as the Cuillin itself and the ability to generate great excitement on stage. Their line-up has changed recently with the addition of Norman Willmore, drummer Stu Brown and the multi-instrumental talents of Innes Watson. They are principally an instrumental line but on I See A World they have expanded their vocal abilities with the arrival of Watson and guest appearances by Heather Macleod and Gina Rae of The Bevvy Sisters.

The album opens in proper Faerie fashion with ‘The Jesster’, written by Ross Couper, heavy on percussion and keys with Couper taking the main fiddle break alongside Peter Morrison’s whistle. The twist is the addition of the heavily treated voices of Rae and Macleod on a single repeated verse towards the end. They pull the same trick on ‘The Humours Of Ardnamurchan’, previously heard on Live @ 25. ‘I Haven’t Smoked For Days’ and ‘Darcy’s’, both by Couper, fall into the more traditional Peatbog style.

The one actual song, ‘The Sister Of Moses’ by Tom Salter, was inspired by Afghanistan and Bob Marley and gives the album its title. It’s about kindness and strength and facing up to adversity. Helena Kay’s tenor saxophone gives the song an extra edge. I See A World also sees the Faeries leaning into electronica rather more, ‘Innes Drinks The Bru’ being a prime example of the mixing of old and new instruments.

Several tracks are inspired by the band’s many travels – usually to festivals – and ‘Ann Roberetson’s Kitchen’, ‘Ortigueira’ and ‘The Poozies’ Visit To Carbost’ (the latter admittedly being someone else’s travels) are not untypical. Carbost, incidentally, is the home of the Talisker distillery and well worth a visit. Finally, ‘Clunie Road/The Winning Bid’ are two celebratory tunes, the second dating back to 2014 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

There is some stunning music on I See A World, both in terms of the inventive compositions and the playing, which is sometimes mind-blowing, that moves the band a little further along the road to their nirvana.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website:

‘The Jesster’ – official video: