Bann - Breabach Album Review
For the uninitiated (thats me included), the name Breabach is a term used in the ancient Scottish Highland method of noting or scoring Gaelic pipe music basically, its a grace note and if you care to read more fascinating and, one has to say, VERY intricate details about music from the Highlands, theres a site called Wikipedia that might help you.
Thankfully, Breabach have christened their latest album with a far simpler word and concept. Bann means connecting, as in binding together as a band, a descriptive definition that certainly serves a purpose, both as a CV of the group themselves and of their truly welcoming brew of heady musical and lyrical banter.
The core quintet hail from five different parts of Scotland - bagpiper Calum MacCrimmon originates from Canada but moved to Scotland at an early age, bassist Jamie is from Aberdeenshire, fiddle-player Megan is a Fort William girl, guitarist Ewan was educated in Plockton close to Skye and piper James has previously been an islander on the Western Isles. Their choice of music isnt all stereotypical heather-clad scrubland or peat fires on stormy nights Mogaisean is a traditional Norwegian piece, while Western Skies draws influence from Canada, telling the story of Calums childhood journey from his homeland to new pastures but ultimately, it is Scottish folklore that glues the various stories and instrumentals together.
Breabachs reputation for stirring live performance, almost rewarded with a nomination for Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2011, is prevalent throughout Bann. Intricate without being fussy, passionate without the bluster and modern without being disrespectful to tradition, its the instrumental passages on this album that are truly uplifting. Donalds Rant, Farley Bridge and the opener Glasgow of the Big Shops (a sort of folky retail-therapy homage) arent necessarily the stuff of boozed-up Ceildhs, being of a slower-paced hybrid, but their positivity is infectious.
Karine Polwart, one of Scotlands most-respected songwriters, is given props on the track Rivers Run, both in vocal and theme renditions plus, for the most part, you get traditional and group-composed reels and strathspeys throughout the remaining cuts. And for fans of spine-tingling piping, check out the final two minutes of Scotlands Winter, as atmospheric and emotional as you can possibly get (not forgetting to listen to the preceding four minutes as well!).
With such a strong album under their belts, young Breabach might have to sort out more UK dates later this year as I have a feeling theyll be leaving quite a mark during their current winter tour and calls for repeated visits.
You may be interested in
- Mon 19th Mar 2018 to Fri 19th Oct 2018 The Urban Folk QuartetBuy Tickets
- Wed 28th Mar 2018 The Gentle GoodBuffalo Bar (Cardiff)Buy Tickets
- Thu 29th Mar 2018 to Fri 11th May 2018 Noble JacksBuy Tickets
- Thu 29th Mar 2018 and Fri 20th Jul 2018 4SquareBuy Tickets
- Thu 29th Mar 2018 Sweet BabooSoup Kitchen (Manchester)Buy Tickets
- Mon 2nd Apr 2018 to Fri 8th Jun 2018 Finbar FureyBuy Tickets
- Wed 4th Apr 2018 to Thu 24th May 2018 Cosmo SheldrakeBuy Tickets
- Thu 5th Apr 2018 to Fri 18th May 2018 The LeylinesBuy Tickets
- Fri 6th Apr 2018 and Sat 7th Apr 2018 Stick in the WheelBuy Tickets
- Sun 8th Apr 2018 to Mon 23rd Apr 2018 Nerina Pallot, Cattle and CaneBuy Tickets
- Sun 15th Apr 2018 North Sea Radio OrchestraThe Lexington (Islington)Buy Tickets
- Fri 20th Apr 2018 and Tue 8th May 2018 Kris DreverBuy Tickets
- Tue 24th Apr 2018 and Sun 29th Apr 2018 Aidan O'RourkeBuy Tickets
- Wed 25th Apr 2018 to Thu 12th Jul 2018 Josh RouseBuy Tickets
- Fri 27th Apr 2018 to Fri 11th May 2018 Sam BrookesBuy Tickets
- Wed 9th May 2018 Luke Daniels, Tim EdeyWest End Centre (Aldershot)Buy Tickets
- Fri 11th May 2018 Dónal Lunny, Andy IrvineThe Royal Theatre (Castlebar)Buy Tickets
- Fri 11th May 2018 to Fri 12th Oct 2018 Grace PetrieBuy Tickets
- Mon 14th May 2018 to Fri 25th May 2018 Elephant SessionsBuy Tickets
- Fri 18th May 2018 to Sat 26th May 2018 Fairport ConventionBuy Tickets
- Sun 20th May 2018 Kathryn TickellThe National Forest Folk Club - Moira (Ashby de la Zouch)Buy Tickets
- Tue 22nd May 2018 and Thu 21st Jun 2018 Clive GregsonBuy Tickets
- Sat 26th May 2018 Bearded Theory Festival, Robert Plant and the Sensational Sp...Catton Hall Park (Derbyshire)Buy Tickets
- Fri 1st Jun 2018 to Fri 20th Jul 2018 Heidi Talbot, John McCuskerBuy Tickets
- Sun 3rd Jun 2018 and Thu 12th Jul 2018 Heidi TalbotBuy Tickets
- Sun 3rd Jun 2018 Acoustic Festival of Britain, The Urban Folk Quartet, Dan Wa...Uttoxeter Racecourse (Uttoxeter)Buy Tickets
- Thu 7th Jun 2018 Blue Rose Code, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, The Destroyer...Southwell Racecourse (Nottinghamshire)Buy Tickets
- Fri 8th Jun 2018 Cattle and CaneMiddlesbrough Town Hall/ The Crypt (Middlesbrough)Buy Tickets
- Tue 3rd Jul 2018 Mouth of the Tyne Festival, Josh RouseTynemouth Surf Cafe (North Shields)More Info..
- Fri 6th Jul 2018 Steeleye SpanSt. Edith Hall (Sevenoaks)Buy Tickets
- Sun 15th Jul 2018 Citadel Festival, Tame Impala, CHVRCHES, Leon Bridges, Fat W...Gunnersbury Park (Ealing)Buy Tickets