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Faerie Story from the Met

If you asked me to name any folk bands that a non-folk fan should go and see live, there would be 2. Bellowhead would be one of them, whilst the other would be the Peatbog Faeries, who I saw at Bury Met last night, in front of a crowd ranging from 20 year olds up to 70+. I'd seen them once before, a couple of years ago at the Victoria Hall in Saltaire, when I'd had to miss the end of the gig so I didn't miss my train. No such problem this time, as I was staying over at the Premier Inn.

The Faeries were formed back in the early 90's, and are based in the village of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye, not really known outside the area as a musical hotbed. Two of the original members still remain, Peter Morrison (pipes and whistles) and Innes Hutton (bass), and along the way they have picked up Tom Salter (guitar), Ross Couper (fiddle), Graeme Stafford (keyboards) and Stu Halkney (drums).

So, what do they sound like? They are best described as Celtic fusion, in that they take traditional Scottish tunes and overlay and draw from a myriad of other styles - electronica, trance, rock, jazz, reggae, African rhythms to name just a few. And they don't half know how to get the feet moving. Make no mistake, these boys are tight, this is a band that can rock. Big beats crash out, with whoops and wails, then they calm it all down to something that wouldn't sound of place on the soundtrack playing in the background in a sun-drenched Mediterranean beach cafe. But the rule of thumb is - no one sits at a Peatbog Faeries gig!

Peter - the one in the kilt - is the focus, with his between tune banter and stories, only slipping up when he suggested Bury was in Yorkshire, which caused the majority of the audience to boo good humorously! The bagpipes are certainly not something that you see in a band every day. However, Ross on the fiddle was particularly brilliant last night, although that is not to take anything away from the rest of the band, as they are all superbly gifted musicians. They played a mix of old tunes and tracks from their new album, 'Blackhouse'. They were on for well over 2 hours, with only a 20 minute break, before they came out to sign CD's and chat amiably to us punters over a well-earned drink, before we drifted off into the night with aching feet and magical tunes going round in our heads.

If you ever get the chance to see the Peatbog Faeries live, don't hesitate. You will not be disappointed....

The new album, 'Blackhouse' is released on Peatbog Records on May 25th.

And here's some of their music....


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