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NORTH SEA GAS - Fire In The Glen

NORTH SEA GAS - Fire In The Glen
Scotdisc CDITV849

North Sea Gas is a well-established Scottish folksong trio who, accompanied by guitar, banjo, bouzouki and fiddle, sing usually fairly well known Scottish songs in all male three-part-harmony. This is their 17th album and their busy touring schedule has seen them take these songs all over the world.

Here we have songs from some of Scotland’s fine songwriters: Davy Steele, Ian Walker, Andy M Stewart and Matt McGinn, and some Scottish standards such as Bonnie Lass O’ Gala Water, The Colliers Eight Hour Day (AKA The Midlothian Mining Song), Johnnie Cope and Awa Whigs Awa. The only departures from Scottish song are a rendition of Over The Hills And Far Away (the John Tams / Sharpe version with a slightly disconcerting guitar riff accompaniment), a good set of tunes played by Grant on the fiddle and the humorous Ain’t It A Beauty.

The title track, Andy M Stewart’s Fire In The Glen, is given a sensitive treatment and is the disc’s highlight. And McGinn’s Coorie Doon provides a thoughtful finisher, leaving the listener in a reflective mood after some of the CD’s more upbeat numbers. It is all quite ‘nice’, polite even, and as such it mightn’t suit everybody. But this is solid singing, good songs, and a group who knows their audience and caters for it perfectly.

Michael White


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This album was reviewed in Issue 109 of The Living Tradition magazine.