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GECKOES- "The Red Horse" - OCK Records OCK 060

There are some CDs that just seem to encourage you to keep hitting the replay button when they finish, and this is one of them.

Let me expand a bit - here we have a collection of music (plus one song) which ranges from Shetland to Ireland, from Scandinavia to France, and lots of other places too, yet all played in a style that both respects the musical origin and also retains a distinctly English feel. And before anyone complains, I meant that comment as a compliment - understanding the background of a piece of music doesn't always mean playing it in one way all the time.

It is often invidious to pick out particular tracks on any release, but the mandolin and bouxouki-led "Silver Spire/Far from being Gruntled" set and the "Sommarvals/Furze Field" arrangements nicely illustrate the depth and range of Geckoes' playing. The band instrumentation links melodeon and concertina, all manner of things with strings, keyboards and percussion and the arrangements are well thought out to make the most of the distinctive qualities of all of them, with no section being overdominating.

An exceptionally pleasant hour's worth of music, and for those with the technology, the CD has files to access the tunes, in both standard and ABC notations.

Excuse me while I go and hit that replay button again.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 38 of The Living Tradition magazine.