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Private Label HV01

This is a debut album by a young band from Argyll currently making a name for itself not just around the west coast but internationally. The line-up comprises Alex Mackechnie, fiddle, accordion and guitar; Abigail Pryde, vocals, guitar; Euan McNab, bagpipes, whistles, guitar; Arlene Mackechnie, piano; Callum Cronin, bass guitar; and Nick Hamilton, drums. They first formed as a band whilst still at school, yet the overall sound has the slickness and confidence of a group that have been around each other a lot longer.

The instrumentation available allows for a lot of variation in the sets, and the band’s love of what it is doing is patently clear in the crisp, fresh arrangements. There’s a good range of differences in the types of tracks as well - from energetic, driving tune sets to thoughtful songs. Their technical ability is beyond good, and everything gels together into a natural-sounding maturity that belies their years. If this is what they’re sounding like now, then the future can only hold great things for them.

They draw on their Scottish and Irish traditional music roots, with little nods in the direction of other styles, such as country and bluegrass to give a sound that is at once distinctly Scottish and traditional, yet modern and eclectic.

My only little gripe is that the tune sets are only given generic titles, but that does not detract from the fact that this is surely a band with prospects of great things ahead of them, and I can’t wait to hear them live.

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 121 of The Living Tradition magazine.