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DERVISH - "Live In Palma" - Whirling Discs WHRL004

Exuberant playing and gorgeous singing are the Dervish trademarks and in this package you get nearly two hours worth, over two CDs, which should satisfy all but the most gluttonous. Recorded in Palma in April 1997 the CD has that spark which the best musicians seem to generate when they are playing live. The jigs are faster, the playing is fired with enthusiasm, even Cathy's singing seems sweeter, if that is possible.

The CD features a cross section of Dervish's material from their previous CDs and has a good mix of song and tune sets. The quality of the material is superb throughout as you would expect, but if I have to pick out some highlights they would be Cathy teaching the crowd the chorus to "Pheigin mo Chroi" ("have we a language problem" says Cathy), and the explosive Jim Coleman's set. The intros to the sets have been made into separate tracks on the CD which means once you have heard them for the hundredth time you can skip them and get straight to the action. See technology, isn't it great?

Dervish have few peers when it comes to playing Irish traditional music and two hours in their company invigorates and refreshes even the parts that Guinness can't reach. Highly recommended for those who already have the previous CDs, and essential for those that don't.

Chris MacKenzie

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