Peatbog Faeries


(Peatbog Records)

Skye-based Peatbog Faeries’ first album with their new line-up – fiddler Adam Sutherland having moved on and Stu Haikney having replaced Iain Copeland on drums – is a strange affair. On the one hand it’s a beautiful production, capturing the many different sounds from club beats to Highland piping, fiddle tunes and African highlife guitar that have filtered into the band’s style. On the other hand, however, it’s frightfully well-behaved – don’t look for clues for what to expect from the track titles. Fiddler Peter Tickell’s Passport Panic doesn’t exactly bristle with urgency. The Naughty Step is more reflective of remorse than any excitement that might have led there, and Spiegel and Nongo, composed for the band’s horn section, might equally have been dedicated to absent friends. The mighty Nigel Hitchcock’s tenor saxophone turns up later on the big riffing Bunny For Breakfast and the strutting Ascent Of Conival, and the album finishes with an African-Scots-Irish party in Room 215, but overall this music slips too easily into the background.

Rob Adams