|NORTH SEA GAS – Hearth & Homeland
|The year 2020 marked the 40th anniversary of North Sea Gas. It should have been marked by celebratory tours and other special occasions, but like so many things in that awful year, it didn’t happen, Ah, well! At least we have this 2019 album as an indicator. The band has had quite a number of comings and goings over the years, with Dave Gilfillan being the only constant; what has changed little over the years is the approach that has brought them their popularity. The repertoire here is full of the long-loved elements of Scottish song; a dash of Burns, some of the finest of traditional items such as The Jolly Beggarman, The Rigs O’ Rye and The Water Is Wide, alongside some lesser known modern songs, a set of tunes written and led by the band’s fiddler, Grant Simpson, with the album topped and tailed with Jacobite items. There is a warmth in their harmony singing and some of the lead vocals have a clipped, clear, precise feeling. Every track in imbibed with enthusiasm. It is an approach that has won North Sea Gas a following beyond the usual folk music community as the long list of continental and American tours demonstrates.
www.northseagas.co.ukVic Smith This review appeared in Issue 137 of The Living Tradition magazine