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SKIPINNISH - Atlantic Roar

SKIPINNISH - Atlantic Roar
Skipinnish Records SKIPCD23

Sometimes a reviewer’s life can be quite good! Just a couple of days after hearing a couple of tracks from this latest release on radio and thinking how good they were, I got the CD to review. There’s a certain expectation about a Skipinnish release that you’re going to get a mixture of cracking tune sets and songs, either in Gaelic or English, which range from sensitive to anthemic. This album certainly doesn’t let you down on any of these points, or on any other, come to that.

For those who don’t know, Skipinnish comprises Angus MacPhail, accordion, vocals; Andrew Stevenson, Highland and small pipes, whistles; Robert Robertson, vocals, guitar; Ross Wilson, piano, bass; Alasdair Murray, drums; Rachel Walker, vocals; and Archie McAllister, fiddle. When all that is put together, there’s a complete package that makes this one of the most in-demand bands in Scotland.

Robert has an intriguingly wide-ranging voice which equally encompasses slower, sensitive numbers, rousing songs of exiles’ return and tongue-twisting puirt a’bheal with aplomb, the only niggle being that both his and Rachel’s vocal tracks on the Brochan Lom set are just a little too far back in the mix to be made out clearly.

The overall musical sound, however, is great, with the slower, more subtle sets being helped along by driving, infectious tunes which defy the feet to keep still, whilst always keeping an eye on the tempo to allow dancers to join in too. All in all, a most enjoyable CD, which you just want to play over and over again

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 98 of The Living Tradition magazine.