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SKIPINNISH - Live from the Ceilidh House

Live from the Ceilidh House
Skipinnish Records SKIPCD18

This CD highlights four live sessions at the eponymous Oban Ceilidh House, and manages to perfectly capture some of the good-humoured and energetic nature of a West-coast session in full swing.  You could simply listen to this recording for the excellence of the music, but if you have any dancing genes in your body, they will be nagging away at you to have a quick birl, even if it is in the privacy of your own front room!

Skipinnish are one of those groups that are flexible in line-up, and here we get selections from the “first eleven” of Andrew Stevenson, pipes, whistles and fiddle; Angus MacPhail, accordion and vocals; Duncan Nicholson, pipes and whistles; Finlay Wells, guitar and bass; Angus MacColl, pipes and drums, Iain MacFadyen, drums; Allan Henderson, fiddle; Norrie MacIver, vocals; Alasdair Whyte, vocals; Rachel Walker, vocals; and Sileas Sinclair, vocals.

Put all that lot together and there’s always going to be a lot going on, but the sound is never cluttered, with Fergie MacIver’s masterful mixing keeping the balance just right.  The programme is well-balanced too, with a grand mixture of faster and slower dance sets interspersed with Gaelic songs.  Indeed, this CD would be a great template for anyone trying to organise a ceilidh session themselves.

This is exactly the type of recording which should be brought to a wide audience, as it represents our music with an authenticity and honesty, with an excellence of standards throughout.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 85 of The Living Tradition magazine.