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Lo La Records 004

You have to be careful if you do a Google search for London Lasses, so I was glad for both the promotional material provided (always helpful to a reviewer) and the search has a filter on it.  London Lasses and Pete Quinn are back with their third album (I think) of basically good quality Irish Traditional music mixing the old with newer material most arranged by the band themselves.  It is these almost spontaneous- but carefully worked out- arrangements, which brings the Enchanted Lady to life, and gives a freshness to the sound.

Let’s deal with the songs first.  Kathleen O’Sullivan provides the lovely, warm vocals on all four songs, telling the story clearly, allowing the meaning to come out, whilst the beautiful instrumental backings support the vocals well.  Excellent sleeve notes provide the listener with that extra bit of information as well as the words.  Incidentally this is an issue, which will have to be addressed before downloading becomes popular with this reviewer as I like to know the sort of info provided in this good quality CD booklet.  But back to the Enchanted Lady.

I think Maid from Maraclune shows the group’s talents off at their best, and you can tell Kathleen enjoys singing this, which is, interestingly, in waltz time.  My Ballingarry Lady is also a waltz written by John Whelan for his mother and is again handled well by the band but my favourite tune is the slow air Rocking the Cradle – it really does work as I felt myself drifting away before being brought back to earth by the set of reels which follow.  Fiddles mix with accordion, banjo takes over from flute and behind it all is the keyboards-never obtrusive though- of Pete Quinn.

Good clear production, engineering and recording also help to make this an enjoyable album.  They will be launching the CD at this year’s Ceiliuradh an Earraigh in Gurteen, Co Sligo in May.  There seems to be no immediate tour- it’s not on the website - so if you want to hear The London Lasses and Pete Quinn then this CD might be your only chance at the moment, unless they are on Eastenders again.  I recommend you take your chance.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 73 of The Living Tradition magazine.