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FARAN FLAD - Maiden Voyage

FARAN FLAD - Maiden Voyage
Wild Boar Music WBM21088

This CD reminds me of a catalogue I used to receive detailing records from a Breton label, which dealt with a lot of pan-Celtic music - in the proper sense - Scots, Irish and Welsh folkies who had gone to live in Brittany and formed groups with locals.  Many of them used to turn up at Pontardawe Festival.  I still have some tapes of a Breton band which featured one of the more obscure members of Battlefield Band. 

Faran Flad are very similar, with a mixture of singers and players from Brittany, Ireland and Belgium.  Singer Heather Graham's voice has echoes of Cara Dillon.  Her record collection clearly contains a lot of girl singers.  She brings her own infectious style to Maddy Prior and Gay Woods’ Shaking of the Sheets and One Misty Moisty Morning, and Frankie Armstrong’s Tarry Trousers and The Fair Maid.  Lip-smacking stuff from a joyful singer backed by some madcap bouzouki, guitar, fiddle and bodhran.

Mandolin and bouzouki player Erwin Libbrecht contributes a set of tunes which climaxes in wild abandon, rather like being spun on a waltzer by a fairground worker with a malicious glint in his eye.  This four-piece should be a hit at festivals.  Play it LOUD in the living room.

Bob Harragan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 86 of The Living Tradition magazine.