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CEILE - "Mancunian Way" - Slip Discs SLIPCD001

Products of the Manchester Irish scene, Ceil, are a young band who are forced to draw comparisons - something which I always feel is unfair. So I'll try not to.

I first saw them a couple of years ago at the Gosport Festival and, whilst they were adequate, they were part of an amazing line-up, but did manage to make a bit of an impression. What I do remember is that they were young and unfairly talented. Since then they've obviously worked hard at their trade, and this is the result.

The band is traditionally based with a front line of accordion, flute and fiddle, backed by double bass and acoustic guitar. In Eamonn Dinan they've got a button accordion player with more talent in his little finger than most possess, whilst the fiddle playing of Colin Farrell is at times stunning, especially backing Ged Stenson's vocals. Here it is inevitable to make a comparison between the singing style and that of Four Men and A Dog. There is the same contemporary feel to the songs, high praise indeed.

The CD is well produced, clearly, if slightly under recorded, and time has been taken over the presentation of the booklet. As a Yorkshireman it breaks my heart to praise something so highly from Manchester as I feel this debut from Ceil, deserves - but I do have one moan (I'm pleased to say!!!!). At only just over 37 minutes long the band is selling their audience short, another three or four tracks would have made this excellent value for money. OK we've got quality not quantity and there is a fine balance between the two but CD's are expensive these days, but that's another story!!!!!

Ceil,'s "Mancunian Way" comes highly recommended and shows that they are on the right road, well worth a listen.

Dave Beeby

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