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PEATBOG FAERIES 'Welcome to Dun Vegas' Peatbog Records CD BOG 001

The Peatbog Faeries invite you to a party - and what a party!

This album from the Isle of Skye sextet (their third after Mellowish and Faerie Stories) fuses their own brand of Hebridean music magic with the sounds of Africa - and is the first Peatbog album to feature vocal tracks, albeit in an inimitable way! The Faeries openly admit the album was recorded during a whisky-enhanced protracted stay in a Skye cottage near Dunvegan. They set up a recording studio there for three months and Welcome to Dun Vegas - a play on Dunvegan - is the stimulating result.

Talented pipes and whistle man Peter Morrison wrote most of the tracks on this album which somehow summons up peat bogs and mountains - and of course a fine malt! The opening number Wacko King Hacko tells the tale of the Viking ruler who is 1263 lost a battle to the Scots at Largs. Fear Eile is an island rowing song given an uptempo arrangement and vocals by Roddy Neilson and bassist Innes Hutton while Phat Controller/Red Bee was written in the night by guitarist Tom Salter and is great driving music.
African influences abound especially in A Taste of Rum and Shifting Peat and Feet based around a rhythm drummer Iain Copeland learnt during a Namibian workshop while the invigorating title track was inspired by the unlikely sound of a cooker clock!
Gibbering Smit is about The Faeries lighting engineer, apparently the Ireland gibbering champion (Niall 'Smit' Smythe) while Morning Dew is a traditional slow and slinky arrangement, which puts you in mind of a thriller soundtrack.

It's a likeable enough album but perhaps does get a bit monotonous after a while. However, party animals and sufferers of restless leg syndrome will be in seventh heaven. You can almost smell the Laphroag seeping out of your hi-fi!

Jane Brace

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This album was reviewed in Issue 55 of The Living Tradition magazine.