Meridian - Second
Reiver Records RVRCD05

Rewarding and at times exhilarating, yup, second release from the three piece whose initial offering got the LT thumbs up some time back, this throws plenty of curves to infuse traditional, own-writes and covers with a truly eclectic feel. The flash of early ambition is carried through to good effect with an assured performance of mainly instrumental pieces whose oeuvre is of an extended EU nature.

Chris Walshaw (pipes, whistles, flute) Richard Jones (accordion, guitar) and Anna Tabbush (fiddle, flute, vox) are the architects of this musical miscegenation which offers fresh and spirited arrangements of dance music in the modern manner. Not for them thankfully, ‘Soldiers Joy’ or ‘Dingles Regatta’ but occupying a similar place in the Eurodance firmament to bands such as Hoover The Dog, the band draws on, amongst others, Italian and Shakespearean influences to turn in a set of nagging melodies with dexterous flourishes. From the mournful, eerie ‘K.L. Hornpipe’, to the swooning sweep of ‘One O’ Clock Ball‘ there is some hauntingly beautiful musicianship here.

For this writer, a sense of ho-hum pervades some of the vocal items - Anna’s winsome voice coming across as bland rather than plaintive on ‘The Handweaver And the Factory Maid’ and ‘Next Market Day’ – but this is a minor point in a collection which makes for a credible melange of styles and rhythms. Those who bought debut ‘Prime’ will agree and happily clasp this to their collective bosom.

Funk & Wagnall. ‘ Meridian ;’ Noun: “The highest or culminating point of anything: the zenith:“

Mission accomplished after 2 albums? I don’t think so!

Clive Pownceby