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It's big, bold, brassy, and adventurous, and it's live - play LOUD - and enjoy! For those sad individuals that didn't actually see the Suspects live (including yours truly), here's your consolation prize. David Milligan and Corrina Hewat have assembled, for your delight, the most riotous bunch of Scottish musicians ever (32 of them). This whirlwind of sound takes Scottish music to unimagined heights - and decibel levels - from the gloriously vibrant opening track 'The Big Set,' to the closing, pipe-dominated 'Encore'.

There's tunes by Eilidh Shaw, Charlie McKerron, John McCusker, Corrina Hewat, David Milligan, Kathryn Tickell, Rory Campbell, Gordon Duncan, Leo McCann, Phil Bancroft and more besides. How to sum up the album's expansive, dynamic sound? It lies somewhere between a massed ensemble of every fiddle band you care to name and Jools Holland's R&B Orchestra - and the effect is sensational. Sound, by Cammy Young, is excellent. Recorded at Eden Court, Inverness, the audience clearly had a fantastic night out.

Things DO slow down now and again - on 'Sae Will We Yet', 'Donald MacGillavry', and 'Follow The Heron'. There's a thrilling few minutes on 'Solo' where Phil Bancroft and Ewen Vernal improvise on sax/double bass. It's straight into 'Bass Strathspey Set', where wildly discordant sax and pipes lead to a bold, logical conclusion involving the whole ensemble. I wonder what folk fans make of all of this jazzy stuff? Moments of rollicking craic and humour are found in 'Bulgarian Ceilidh' & 'Fiddle Frenzy'. 'Intro' is a gloriously mellow maelstrom of Celtic lyricism and groove, whilst 'Box Set' lets the box do the talking. The brass section sparkles throughout the entire recording.

Is this the best live folk orchestra Scotland ever saw? What a statement Hewat & Milligan make with this album!

Debbie Koritsas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 60 of The Living Tradition magazine.