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Private Label  FCM001CD

Niall is a songwriter from Belfast, who now lives in Galway where he has joined forces with some local musicians aka The Fast Company.  He sings, and also plays guitar, piano, piano accordion and whistles.  The Company adds some other traddy instrumentation (fiddle, flute, mandolin etc) as well as double bass and percussion, the result being a full, well rounded sound. 

Niall has a warm and likeable voice, reminiscent at times of Neil Hannan of The Divine Comedy fame.  His style varies throughout the album, with the overall feeling being quite contemporary singer songwriter, with obvious traditional Irish influences, and a little bit of Old Time thrown in for good measure.  His songs are dappled with traditional sounding tunes which are played well, but are more a complement to the songs rather being a tune led album.  This is a new collaboration though, so given time this side of things may develop, as they find their style together.

The CD opens with My True Love, a catchy number that has country and even rock-a-billy nuances.  The structure and sentiment of the song is similar to many traditional folk songs about love, though the words are more modern.  Enterprise is a song written about the train that took Niall from Belfast to Galway and how it changed his life.  It sounds like a love song, which is mildly peculiar since it is about a train (although I am sure it is more about how he feels about Galway), but it works and it is strangely memorable.

Overall, this is a pleasant CD, which while not being strictly within the traditional / folk genre, has elements of each which may appeal to those with wider ranging tastes.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 87 of The Living Tradition magazine.