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BATTLEFIELD BAND - "At the Front" - Temple Records COMD2056

Hot on the heels of the re-release of Battlefield's "white" album, comes this re-release of their follow up album two years later. At least back in the seventies we had the benefit of time to get used to the personnel changes. Alan Reid was now playing keyboards as well as pedal organ and an Irishman (in a top Scots band!), Pat Kilbride, had replaced John Gahagan. Brian McNeill was showing more of his multi-instrumental skills and the band was playing with great skill, confidence and taste - and no pipes yet!

Standout tracks for me include the Gaelic Air, "Ge Do Theid Mi Do M'Leabaidh", where Brian McNeill's fiddle really shines, and the songs which were developing the complexities of accompaniment that were to feature so much in the future. Despite the complexity of the accompaniments, the vocals were always out in front.

I can't really add too much to the review of their other re-release - this album is equally impressive although for me the "white" album was such an outstanding release at the time that it holds more memories. You can buy these releases one at a time or, if you are really looking to spoil yourselves. ALL the Battlefield albums are now available in a boxed set. Either way, start collecting or saving.

Pete Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 7 of The Living Tradition magazine.