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THE GECKOES "Art Gecko" OCK Records OCK 003GTI

Dance music is meant to be danced to. I make this statement of the obvious because I have heard a number of albums of dance music and invariably they become boring around track four. Dance music can be listening music in a live session but is it possible to make a whole album of dance music interesting? I thought the answer was "no" until I listened to ART GECKO, the second CD by the Oxford-based group Geckoes.

There are twenty-eight tunes on the album drawn from many different parts of the U.K. and Ireland and from France, Italy and the U.S.A. as well as tunes written by members of the band, and the album is full of exquisite sounds and variations in moods and tempo using a wide variety of instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle, melodeons, concertinas, tabor and keyboards and there are two brief - too brief - vocals by Caroline Ritson.

It must have taken hours to plan this album and achieve such variety and balance but the end product is never cold and cerebral. One of my acid tests for an album is "does it sound good at seven in the morning?" The answer for this album is yes, yes, yes.

Howard Baker

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This album was reviewed in Issue 12 of The Living Tradition magazine.