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NEW CELESTE Best Park Records PRKCD71

Usually I am not a fan of retrospectives and compilations, but this may be an exception. Looking at the back catalogue of one of the seminal Folk/Rock bands of the seventies you might expect some of the tracks to sound a little dated. You would be right. But for those who are unfamiliar with New Celeste (named after one of the 'stops' on a harmonium) there is real merit in a retrospective of a group that went on to spawn the Oyster Band, Runrig, and Hue & Cry among others. Over their years together I bet there were some fireworks between such disparate and talented musicians, but, mostly, the resultant output has been worth it. Fair enough, I went a little nostalgic over some of the older stuff (like 'P stands for Paddy' and 'Rocky Road to Dublin') but then I found myself thinking that Park Records should put out 'Polkadotty' on 12-inch Vinyl for the benefit of the Ibiza DJs who would doubtless have a great time with it! Patience is a virtue, they say, and in this case it pays off. If 'New Celeste' are new to you give this one a go.

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 60 of The Living Tradition magazine.