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Battlefield Band
"Time & Tide" - Temple Records COMD2090

I thought I might be a bit stuck with this one, in that although I like the band, haven't followed them through their various line-ups, nor heard their various changes on CD or in live performance, but realised this is neither here nor there, and shouldn't detract from reviewing the silver disc before me.

Well above instrumental competence is an assumption you have when dealing with Battlefield which quickly proves correct, and although some of the tunes are forgettable there are a greater number, which are quite lovely and none more so than "Sunset" written by G.S. MacLennan. Apparently he wrote this on the Somme, and the sentiment is that sunset brings the darkness, the only chance of relief from the carnage that surrounded the lost generation sacrificed there."Time and Tide" is a similar subtle delight, written by band memberAlasdair White from Lewis who having depended on the services of "Calmac" sees a similarity between the company and the tune title in that they both "wait for no man"

The contrast between the two singers gives the band an additional interesting dimension. We have the understated mellow effectiveness of Alan Reid, solo on "Nancy's Whisky" and the highly listenable "Rothesay Bay"(the first an alternative version, the second a little known lyric which he set to music), complemented by Pat Kilbride's livelier vocals as evidenced on his own "Camden Town". Put them together as on "The Bonnie Jeannie Deans" and its attention grabbing (and the intro to this is driving me mad trying to think what it reminds me of as it's so near yet so far).

An album of substance, yet easily accessible.

Hector Christie

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This album was reviewed in Issue 50 of The Living Tradition magazine.