Live review: Celtic Connections: Peatbog Faeries at ABC, 23/1/14

pbfpic2Peatbog Faeries are the epitome of Scottish music, combining traditional folk instruments with rock, jazz and electronic elements to deliver an eclectic performance that has graced Celtic Connections with its company more than ten times over the years.

The crowd gathered tonight is a testament to the band’s wide appeal, even twenty years after their formation, and as a special treat for those lucky enough to be here a trio of brass musicians join the band on stage, adding a trombone, trumpet and saxophone to the already varied mixture of sounds on offer.

The band open their set with the ever popular ‘Spiders’, the traditional whistle and fiddle harmonies that supply the genuine Celtic sound complemented by very rock-influenced guitars and drums in the background.

From there the band’s energy only increases, and along with classics such as ‘Dun Beag’, ‘The Locks and Rocks Reel’ and ‘There’s A Girl Behind The Bar Thinks She’s Garbo’ the crowd are also treated to the ever so slightly mellower ‘Chatham Lasses’ as well as some new pieces: ‘The Ranch’, which has what whistle player Peter Morrison describes as a “hillbilly” feel, and ‘Strictly Sambuca’ with its almost chilled-out electro vibe.

However, the highlight of the gig is of course ‘Folk Police’, with its heavy electronic influence and Morrison’s evocative performance on the bagpipes.

The band return to the stage for an all too brief encore, and leave safe in the knowledge that had they continued to play all night, the crowd would have continued to dance with them.

Words: Katherine Haig

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