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Brig Records EDLUC2CD

Eddie Seaman and Luc McNally first met in Glasgow in the autumn of 2013 in a packed session in the Nevis Bar. Luc, from County Durham, and Eddie, from Edinburgh, are founder members of Barluath, whose second album At Dawn Of Day emerged in 2015. Luc no longer plays with the band, though is now a member of Dosca and Sketch. The duo discussed a release of material played at the Nevis sessions and Headlights was released back in 2014. Musically, the twin traditions of Scotland and Northern England form the backbone of their enterprise. Playing a mix of pipes, whistles, bouzouki, guitar and vocals, their collective approach attacks and lays back as their material and presentation demands.

Their second combined recording, Tirade, kicks off with the near overdriven Angry Pipers Tirade which, befitting the title, rears up a compelling head of steam with its big band like arrangement. Glint Of Silver highlights some fluent whistling from Eddie Seaman, On A Boat mixes original and traditional tunes compulsively, and Not Enough Triplets bounces along happily. Song wise, the concentration on Northumbrian material yields some interesting rewards – mostly in the subtlety of their treatments. Here’s The Tender Coming (introduced by a striking pipe air), Byker Hill and Elsie Marley are all standards yet are subject to gently resigned arrangements that highlight their familiarity yet address them with the appropriate affection. Guest musicians add subtle bass, drums and fiddle adding extra richness to the sound.

Tirade has individual expertise and command of mood by the bucketful - an album whose subtleties reveal themselves on extended listening. Recommended.

John O’Regan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 117 of The Living Tradition magazine.