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GAELFORCE - Equinox 

GAELFORCE - Equinox 
Private Label GF2021EQ 

Winding my memory back a couple of decades or so, I remember a Yorkshire folk-rock band named Gaelforce, a thoroughly enjoyable outfit on the live circuit. I’m not sure what happened in the intervening years, but this new CD has now arrived bearing the Gaelforce imprimatur. The distinctive Celtic-rock branding remains, although Equinox boasts a revised line-up alongside fiddle/mandolin front-man Chris Dyson; he now shares the spotlight with wiz guitarist (and keyboardist and producer) Geoff Taylor (formerly of the Duncan McFarlane Band), and the supportive rhythm section of Sam Dowgill and Matt Kirton.

Although the tracklist for Equinox heralds a good solid Celtic-folk repertoire, Gaelforce’s sonic identity is now arguably closer to prog-rock than hitherto, at least on rompers like the traditional Down To Old Maui and Ye Mariners All which open the disc. The wider-screen panorama makes more capital out of synth than fiddle, and Geoff’s soaring guitar lines are underpinned by a hefty drumbeat and chunky bass. The latest Gaelforce take on Maid Of Coolmore is a Deep Purple-style frug with grinding riff, but later tracks (Back Home In Derry and jig-a-jig-style reel-thing crowd-pleaser Maid Behind The Bar) are more in keeping with the Gaelforce folk-rock template, as are Burning Times and lone original, Herne The Hunter.

A potential criticism of the album could be the (inevitable) sense of “over too soon” that comes with music that works even better live on stage. But there’s still plenty of ambience and good-time music on the CD.

David Kidman


This review appeared in Issue 140 of The Living Tradition magazine