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CD review

Skerryvore

Skerryvore

Chasing The Sun

(Tyree Records)

There is such a range to contemporary Scottish folk music, as it pulls away from steadfast traditions while still paying them reverence, that a band with a broader pop/rock remit should be afforded their space too. And yet I can't get onside with Skerryvore, even though their upcoming 14-country world tour is proof enough this may purely be down to personal taste.

Nevertheless, on You Were My Friend, all I can hear is country-and-western bar-stool sentimentality; on Moonraker, a cheesy funky rhythm section that should be served a restraining order from any dance floor; and on The Rut, a dated guitar solo that is as welcome as a drunk tourist in a See You Jimmy hat droning on about his ancestors from Scotchland.

There is nothing wrong with the playing on traditional instruments, but the rock-style drumming is a bit too straight down the line and the vocals suffer from the same Americanised twang as certain Scottish pop bands from the 1980s.

The lyrics do not help either: in this most poetic of musical genres, Skerryvore's aspiration is "We can run fast, climb a little higher/We can soar to the top, they'll never get us now". Even when their style is emotive, I do not experience the depth of feeling usually so inherent in folk music.

ALAN MORRISON

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