‘A Place In Time’ from Vair - wave after wave of imaginative drive(May 06, 2017)
Shetland, or more accurately the Shetland Islands and part of Scotland since the 15th century, is a rugged archipelago that echoes both Scandinavian and Scottish influences along with a fiercely-guarded sense of identity. Its little surprise therefore that a band from Shetland both absorbs and reflects a range of styles to fashion their own marked sound. The band is Vair and their album ‘A Place In Time’ exposes influences from their homeland combined with Scottish and Irish folk and a smattering of Bluegrass plus whatever spurs their collective creative energy.
And that’s precisely what you get with ‘A Place In Time’ ... wave after wave of imaginative drive seething and swaying around your ears through a mix of a mix of original and interpretation. There’s elements of tradition, fearless innovation, softly-engaging instrumentals, experience-driven narratives and touching deliberations.
Energetic tunes like ‘Trip to Breckon’ ‘Jolly Good Jigs’ and ‘Orkney Butcher’ carry you along with their dynamism, while the softly enthralling ‘Delunna’, exquisitely evocative ‘Ackrigarth’ and mercurial, absorbing ‘Guizin’ perfectly encapsulate their instrumental dexterity. Their songs are no less striking, the self-penned ‘Atween Da Wadders’ that ponders effects on folk leaving their birthplace, their arrangement of the poem ‘Waterlilies’ by Shetland poet Vagaland, aka T.A. Robertson, and their cover of Warron Zevon’s tale of betrayal and murder, ‘Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner’.
Vair are Ryan Couper (guitar, mandolin, vocals) Erik Peterson (cajon, mandolin, vocals), Lewie Peterson (banjo, mandolin, vocals) and Jonny Polson (guitar, vocals).
Review: Tim Carroll