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SHINDIG "The Rolling Waves" Hardstone Records HSCD1

Shindig, from the North East of Scotland, are not a group who are easy to classify. Not that that's a bad thing - too many people put labels on others and try to make others think within boxes. This lively outfit certainly take their musical influences from a whole lot of different boxes, shake them about a bit and produce a folk-rock root, on which are grafted influences from jazz, swing reggae and 1960's chart music.

This all hangs together remarkably well, with a variety of instrumentation to fit the variations in tune styles. There are nods in the direction of Fairport Convention and others of that genre, but not to the extent that they could be accused of plagiarism. The Shindig sound that emerges is complex and largely fiddle-led, with weaving undertones and arrangements which both surprise and delight. Perhaps the most eclectic moment is the dubbing in of Peerie Willie describing the discovery of a D7 flattened 5th is. (Don't ask, it's far too technical to describe in a review!)

Shindig's line-up is Sharon Hassan, fiddle and whistle; Steven Jaffray, bass and whistles; Geoff Jones, percussion; Peter MacCallum, guitar, bouzouki, flute and vocals; Graham Stephen, guitars and vocals. Graham is also the composer of the three songs, which are darkly insightful.

An interesting debut album from a group to look out for.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 55 of The Living Tradition magazine.