Words by Billy Rough
Recently voted live act of the year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Breabach have established themselves as one of the finest folk bands on the scene. Ùrlar, produced by Lau’s Kris Drever, sees the band deliver a beautifully mature and rich mix of subtle musicianship. ‘The Poetic Milkman’ gets the ball rolling, with Calum MacCrimmon and James Duncan MacKenzie’s pipes delivering a pacey and frenetic opener. Megan Henderson’s vocals provide a sweet respite in ‘Hi Ho Ro Tha Mi Duilich’, while Ewan Robertson delivers a passionate version of ‘The Seven Men of Knoydart’. MacCrimmon proves himself to be a formidably sensitive vocalist on the heartfelt ‘The Orangedale Whistle’.
Breabach are known for their love of the piping tradition and this is perfectly captured on ‘Forvie Sands’, a reflective air on times and places past, while ‘Bowmore Fair’ sees the band in a more spirited mood, with a brisk set of tunes. The rousing pipe tune ‘The Old Hill’ provides a fine conclusion to an exciting and accomplished album. Ùrlar is thrilling, stirring and poignant; a rare treat.
TRACK TO TRY: ‘The Orangedale Whistle’