Ah.The EFDSS on speed! You remember those country dance bands who played for old ladies' tea dances and turned their noses up at the folk rockers, while we sneered at them because their music wasn't ethnic enough? Well, Steamchicken have taken that repertoire, with its touch of American corn and Irish sentiment and rocked it up. There's even a mischievous track which keeps trying to break into 'An English Country Garden.' They have given themselves the catchy label of an 'e-ceildh band.' Ee, they're pretty good as well, There's a touch of trad jazz from the era of Acker Bilk-Kenny Ball-Chris Barber as well, as all sorts of wild woodwind and other instruments toe-tap their way across my speakers. I can hear a clarinet, and a saxophone, and a quick crib from the sleevenotes adds harmonica, melodeon, some swinging drums and the intriguing 'shaky egg'.Hard boiled, I hope.

Boiling music too, and broilers like 'The Turkey in the Straw'. There's also 'Atholl Highlanders', 'Huntsman's Chorus',' Drops of Brandy', 'New Rigged Ship'-fourteen tracks in all, including a track inspired by Jonah Lewie's 'Stop the Cavalry' where, they say, the original tune is 'entirely absent. 'You get hints of it, but this cavalry is stopping nowhere, trampling the theme tune from the Muppets on the way. Ideal to play if you are late preparing dinner. Put it on and you will dance around the kitchen and be ready in double quick time.

Bob Harragan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 68 of The Living Tradition magazine.