Folk review: Breabach - The Desperate Battle of the Birds

WITH Highland pipers Calum MacCrimmon and Donal Brown plus the fine Perthshire fiddler Patsy Reid, driven by award-winning guitarist Ewan Robertson and, on this, their second album, Duncan Lyall on double bass, Breabach can fairly whip up excitement, as when their Clueless set picks up speed, or in the purposeful yet unhurried phrasing of the opener, Father Michael MacDonald's Silver Jubilee.

The title track uses the eponymous pibroch ground as a link between reels, and while this may incite some claymore rattling from purists, it's effective, if in a constricted manner.

There's a slight par for the course feeling about this album, reprising tunes from such celebrated composers as Gordon Duncan and RS MacDonald, while the singing of Reid and Robertson doesn't really do justice to such great songs as Ewan MacColl's Shoals of Herring or David Francey's Greenfields.

The loveliest thing on it is the Waterhorse's Lament, with Reid's strings singing plangently alongside a keening pipe.

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