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Peatbog Faeries

Image © tonybell.PHOTOGRAPHY

The Apex

Tuesday 2nd May

It’s been a long time, hope I can still do this, and thanks to The Apex for allowing this at short notice. But that is enough of the personal stuff, why turn out on a week night for some group that most have neither heard of or care about? Let me tell you that if the Peatbog Faeries cannot raise your spirits or stir your soul then you are in need of urgent medication.

For the uninitiated Peatbog Faeries hail from the Isle of Skye and are now into their 26th year of wearing out the feet of the world’s dancers with, derived from the tradition, Scottish tunes embellished with the accoutrements needed by the modern dancer i.e. rock drums and guitar, swathes of electronica and some of the world’s more exotic rhythms thrown in for good measure.

All well and good but, remember, this is supposed to be a review so tell us about it, so here goes: After  a disappointingly untheatrical entrance the first track allowed, in football parlance, all six band members the chance to get an early touch of the ball and make a few safe passes without, in any way shape or form, threatening a shot on goal. However that was but a brief lull, second tune “The Ranch” roared in from the darkness, pipes whistles and fiddle to the fore and all was well with the world, unless you share any sense of empathy with the floor, which took a severe pounding.

With that one tune the course of the evening was set – lots of dancing, clapping and cheering, lots of thunderous drumming, fab guitar solos, and despite all the modern stuff it was the pipes and fiddle in unison that always drew the biggest response. The longest set of the first half finished with the tunes “Smelling fresh” and “Dancing feet”, job done is all there is to say. But mention must go to the strangest title of the night “There’s a girl behind the bar who thinks she’s Garbo”, one day I’d like to visit that universe.

Reticence was absent as the second half began: Bold keyboards and pipe band style drumming led into “Wacko king Hako” which seemed little different from the established template – one high octane, dervish dancing, sweat dripping tune following another all the way through to the close. Personally I think the Faeries are equally wonderful in more considered mode, and I would have loved some of that, what do I know, I am the one writing and not dancing and, probably, that says it all.

An excellent evening, thank you and goodnight.