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Private Label  FEAF01CD

Another CD from yet another incredibly talented young Scottish band - where do they keep coming from? Well in Oidhche Chiadain’s case the answer is simple.... the Isle of Lewis.  They meet together for weekly practices on a Wednesday night – their name means Wednesday night in Gaelic - presumably around dusk as Ciaradh means dusk. I only know this because, after the initial shock of finding the press release completely in Gaelic, I found the translation in English was on the reverse!!

The classes are run by Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich who are a voluntary committee and seem to be doing a great job if this CD is anything to go by. There are seven musicians in the band with instruments ranging from accordion to fiddles, piano to guitar, with a bit of percussion thrown in to keep it all together. Most of the band also provide some quite competent vocals. With a band of this size and youthfulness it would be quite easy for this to have become a showcase for different groupings and individual talents, but under the directorship of producer Keith Morrison this is certainly not the case. I liked especially the ease with which they mix traditional Scottish dance music tracks with the much more experimental side of modern traditional music, and their sheer youthful enjoyment in their ability to play and entertain. I have a vision of especially proud parents who are maybe not quite at home with the way some of the tracks have turned out - but that is the way it should be.

Whether Oidhche Chiadain are able to exist for long in this form as other pressures and influences arrive I don’t know, but watch out for the individual members - Graham MacLennan, Mairead MacLeod, Kirsty Watt, Caroline MacDonald, John Murdo MacAulay, Fiona Rennie, Alanna MacCuaig.  These are the stars of the future.

Finally thanks must be given for the involvement of Fèis Eilean and all other agencies which support them. With that help we have here an interesting CD. Try to search it out - I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 91 of The Living Tradition magazine.