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MICK WEST - "Fine Flowers & Foolish Glances" - Lochshore CDLDL 1229

On receiving this CD, my first question was 'Who is Mick West?' After listening to it, my second question was 'Why haven't I heard of him before?'

This is an excellent album but there is no info on the sleeve other than the fact that Mick West contributes vocals and bodhran and is backed by Tony McManus on guitar, Brian Byrne on keyboards etc., Fraser Fifield on things you blow into and hit, and Siobhan Lynch on cello.

Despite the varied accompaniment, this is very much a singer's album and Mick takes the songs by the scruff of the neck and shapes them the way he wants, just as in the Benzie/Fisher link, this reminded me of a favourite album of recent years - Arthur Johnstone's "North by North".

Again the songs are mostly trad or trad-sounding, but one of the highlights is the Pete Livingstone composition "The Mission Hall", which would have been an ideal final track.

So please, Lochshore, tell me more about the man.

Alan Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 13 of The Living Tradition magazine.