It took me several minutes to track down the Angles CD for review – I eventually found it in my partner’s car. She admitted that whilst normally she would not listen to ‘bagpipe’ music for pleasure, for this CD she was making an exception!
I first saw Angles live last year, and
have seen them at a couple of gigs
subsequently and found them to be
eminently danceable to and very
interesting to listen to. They are a solid 3
piece band and keep the focus of the music
as being for the dancers rather that needing
to constantly show off their musical skills.
Angles’ first CD reflects this and consists
of 14 solid tracks all written by the trio
consisting of Chris Walshaw (C & G
Pipes, Whistles), Cliff Stapleton (Hurdy Gurdy) & Richard Jones (Accordion and Guitar).
I was familiar with some of the tunes already, having played the burree, Spider and Kicksy-Wicksy in Cliff Stapleton’s Hurdy Gurdy workshops. Cliff mentioned during the workshops that he was trying to write tunes that could be danced to as a French Dance, but were easily identifiable as being of English origin. I think that he has done this, and that there is a definite ‘Englishness’ to the tunes. Whether Richard Jones shares this same sentiment I do not know, but his track Centre Ville feels to me like a very English Schottish.
The CD is very clean and understated – some bands tend to get carried away with overdubbing, remixing and playing around with the tempo or melody of tunes. This is quite the opposite, and you could quite easily dance to all the tunes on the album. Another great thing about the tunes is within a bar or two, you (in fact even my 5 year old) can tell the type of dance it is … something some bands seem to have forgotten!
My favourite tracks on the album are numerous, but I will pick ‘Cherries’ by Cliff Stapleton – an elegantly simple mazurka that just ‘works’, and Rosy Rouge/Greenbench - a quick waltz again by Cliff with the 2nd tune by Chris. Chris’ pipes feature on the majority of the tracks and the mix and recording standard is very good, with no instrument dominating or overpowering the others. For a CD that was recorded in a home studio, this is of a very high standard.
With 14 tracks and running at 58 minutes I would certainly recommend this CD. Several sample tracks are available from the Angles website , as is the CD: (http:// s335571041.websitehome.co.uk/theAngles/site/About.asp) or type Angles Music into Google and you’ll find the link.