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OUT OF HAND - Too Young To Drive The Bus 

OUT OF HAND - Too Young To Drive The Bus 
Wildgoose Studios WGS429CD 

The album title says it all really. The members of this young ceilidh band might not qualify for a licence yet - they tend to be driven around by one of the band members' dads - but they show plenty of oomph on their debut album. A six-piece who met up on tour with the National Youth Folklore Troupe of England, their music is a lot catchier than their album name.

The repertoire here is a pleasing mix of self-composed tunes, some French influences and a solid foundation of British traditional styles. Fiddler Penny Kempson is the only female contributor and she is often to the fore, especially, as you might guess, on the tunes billed as the Fiddlers Set, which also features John Kirkpatrick's Jump At The Sun. Other familiar names represented in the tune choices are those of Michael McGoldrick and John McCusker, but, in the main, Out Of Hand plough their own furrow, as a band to listen or to dance to. They do have the help of Old Bellowheadian Paul Sartin on one track, and of flautist John Wilde on another. I can't claim to be the biggest fan of the recorder, played here as well as whistles - too much primary school spittle for comfort. On repeated listening, though, it is the bass guitar work of Richard Portlock that catches the attention and does much to give the band its distinctive sound.

Dave Hadfield


This review appeared in Issue 130 of The Living Tradition magazine