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PEEPING TOM "Looking Good" Folksound FSCD40

To produce a CD of dance music and make it interesting demands more than simply rattling through a selection of favourite tunes. Peeping Tom are embarking on their twenty-fifth year as a ceilidh band and the collective experience of their membership is reflected in the polished production quality of this album.

"Looking Good" is a thoughtful variety of tunes, with plenty of original material. Playing is solid throughout, with tunes sympathetically underpinned by the percussion of Colin Halliwell. The arrangements are interesting too, with some slick interplay between instruments. "The Dumb Post/Skylark" illustrates a clever counter melody from the guitar but the music is mostly melodeon based - Ian Wilson providing a rock-solid lead for the rest of the band to work around. Acoustic instruments feature best on the fifth track "Pipe on the Hog/Hag at the Churn/The Silver Spire", with a nice percussive lead on the four string banjo. Keyboards are used well, filling out the middle ground, occasionally taking the lead and providing some atmospheric touches, as in "Hamilton's Lament".

One or two of the tracks on the album were a bit over-long but that's a small fault. Listening to ceilidh music on CD, rather than in the dance hall, is a minority interest. If you are one of those who can listen from the comfort of the armchair without necessarily reaching for your dancing boots then this album is surely for you.

Fred Redwood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 23 of The Living Tradition magazine.