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IAN GILES - "The Amber Triangle" - Wildgoose WGS287CD

The "Amber Triangle" is the nickname given to Ian Giles' Oxfordshire locale. His own name might not be nationally known but he has a long track record and a discography running into double figures. His relative anonymity may be due to the fact that he has to date recorded with groups and bands. Now we have his debut solo album, and it's a good one that shows off his strong and flexible voice admirably.

There are no surprises among the fifteen British traditional songs (correction - "Streets of Forbes" is Australian) but they are all fine songs, rich in melody. Giles is backed by a band that includes Steve Tilston, Chris Leslie, Dan Plews, etc., and a vocal group that has Sandra & Nancy Kerr, among its members. They all give fine assistance but it is Giles' voice that carries the album even though at times he does sound a trifle polite and restrained, a little over-anxious to get it just right. Even with plenty of studio experience, which Giles has, doing one's first solo album is a nervy job, lending its own constraints.

Nevertheless, this is a highly promising debut that deserves a wide hearing. Ian Giles has the potential to go beyond Oxford's Amber Triangle. This album should help him do it.

Roy Harris

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This album was reviewed in Issue 26 of The Living Tradition magazine.