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Gwerinos - Seilam
GWERINOS "Seilam" SCD2160

This is an interesting folk-rock album from a band who are developing a sizeable following in North Wales. Gwerinos have toured Ireland and there are echoes of Galway in some of their material. "Tip Tap", for example, could be by The Saw Doctors in their most exuberant hay-making mode, while on "Rhyw Ddydd" banjo, fiddle and accordion fuse together in a musical common ground somewhere between Dublin and Nashville.

But it's not all twmpathau (ceilidh) fodder. Indeed, the main strength of the album is its contrast in pace and textures. There are witty parodies of Welsh chapel organ music prior to fast and furious satire. I think so, anyway - my Welsh isn't what it was. But I do know that "A gwisgo dillad wedi'u dwyn o wardrob Basil Brysh" is a barb about a dress sense which owes much to a popular small-screen glove puppet.

Then there is "Cwt Ucha" - an easy-going instrumental with woodwind finding an interesting niche in its interplay with the guitar. At the darker end of the spectrum there is "Pen Rheswm": a lovely lament for a friend who died tragically young. The fiddle rises beautifully over the rest to create an ultimate sense of brave optimism.

This is good stuff. It is the work of a band close to finding its own musical identity and it deserves a listen.

Fred Redwood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 27 of The Living Tradition magazine.