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INSCH - Daffy’s Trip

INSCH - Daffy’s Trip
Ride On Music ROM013

“Scottish music from Brittany” is what we get on this seven-track, 21-minute recording from new band Insch. The three-piece line-up comprises Brewen Favrau (Scottish smallpipes, uilleann pipes, low whistles), Soazig Hamelin (fiddle, vocals) and Kenan Guernalec (piano), and the sound they produce on their well-recorded debut is satisfyingly full and rich. The overall feel of Insch’s music is confident and roughly contemporary-Scottish (as opposed to experimental). Five of the seven tracks are subtle and skilful arrangements of pipe tunes – by Gordon Duncan, Mike Katz, Mike MacDougall, Stephen Saint, Ian Kirkpatrick and George (G.S.) MacLennan – with the occasional trad-arr tune (High Road To Linton) thrown in for good measure. The playing is fresh-hued and genuinely sparky, with the spirit of the dance never far from the surface and the piano underpinning the pipes-and-fiddle texture in all the right places without threatening to dominate. The two songs (both credited as being taken from the Alan Lomax collection) are largely successful; Charlie O Charlie is done with duly authentic swagger, and finale Gaol Ise Gaol is all the better for replicating the feel and pace of the waulking song from which it was clearly sourced, before drawing to a more reflective close. If the quality of this recording is anything to go by, I feel sure we’ll be hearing more from Insch in the future.

David Kidman

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.