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Rooksmere Records RRCD101

Interesting word, “ceilidh”, which a lot of people think means “a wild dance”, but really just means “meeting”.  Right, that’s the lesson over, but where’s the relevance?  Well, in this Northamptonshire dance band we have a meeting of traditional tunes with modern twists; acoustic and electric instruments; and measured approach and joyous mayhem – and it all falls into place magnificently to give as good an English dance band sound as I’ve heard in a good while.

Tickled Pink comprise Simon Care, melodeons; Gerald Claridge, electric guitar; Rob Kay, keyboards; Mark Jolley, fiddle; Trevor Landen, bass, cajon and congas; Mark Hutchinson, guitars and percussion; and Guy Fletcher, drums.  All these come together in a big sound with a solid back line rhythm, above which the soaring electric guitar riffs and the exuberant playing of the acoustic side meld seamlessly into the sounds of a band who are having the time of their lives playing music that they – and we by extension – can’t do anything other than enjoy.

This is a vibrant enough collection to be listened to simply for its own musical merits, but it really cries out for people to get up and dance to it, which is its real purpose, so by any measure this is a first-class recording all round.  Gerald should also get a special mention for some of the zaniest and funniest sleeve notes I’ve read in a while.

A good antidote for anyone feeling the post-coalition blues – get Tickled Pink!

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 89 of The Living Tradition magazine.