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Skipinnish Western Ocean (Skipinnish)

HOT on the heels of their success in achieving a number one download in the World Music charts - the rousing Walking on the Waves, which is included here - Highland dance band Skipinnish consolidate their established popular style of robust tune sets that give visitors to the band's music houses in Oban and Fort William a heady taste of Highland energy while adding to the canon of Runrig-inspired, heart on sleeve songs of praise and longing.

As with Walking on the Waves, accordionist Angus MacPhail and singer guitarist Robert Robertson confirm their talent for producing anthemic choruses in both English and Gaelic, which Robertson delivers with big-hearted gusto and, in the case of Aisling Cuimhn', hard-won sensitivity. If their cover of Sugababes' About You Now is a little more workmanlike, it shows an admirable willingness to bring pop music under the Highlandman's umbrella, so to speak, and sits quite comfortably alongside tunes borrowed from diverse masters such as Skye-based keyboards whiz Blair Douglas and bluegrass banjo maverick Béla Fleck.

Rob Adams

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