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BATTLEFIELD BAND - Room Enough For All

BATTLEFIELD BAND - Room Enough For All
Temple Records COMD2106

The ongoing Batties saga continues with a more than competent collection of mostly Scottish trad medleys played with typical gusto. All four members are multi-instrumentalists, so we have endless possibilities – three pipers, three guitarists, three whistles, two fiddlers and sundry others. I think you get the picture. What they don’t have these days, is a singer of stature. No matter, the tunes more than make up for it in my book.

By far the pinnacle is The Hairy Angler Fish medley, which builds from frantic through recklessly strident to tumultuous in less than four minutes. Mind you, The Eight Men Of Moidart medley runs it a close second. Difficult to single out particular musicians, as they’re all more than competent, but it’s obvious to me that Mike Katz, the longest serving member, is the anchor man. It’s in the sets of tunes, also, that it’s possible to recognize the thread that has been woven through the history of the Battlefield Band – umpteen line ups and Lord knows how many albums, over the past forty-odd years. Fact is, they’ve always been a darned fine live act, and their strength is in their more breakneck tune sets. Always was, and long may it continue.

As they seem to be permanently touring Worldwide these days, you might struggle to find a UK opportunity to see them put it into practice – but I’m pretty sure that on this evidence I’ll be lining up for a ticket.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 97 of The Living Tradition magazine.