Reviews

‘Utopia And Wasteland’ - Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar “... incredibly powerful musical statement”

(March 23, 2018)

Frequently called ‘coincidence’ the seemingly unrelated coming together of sequences, places, actions and people, which on occasion generates something that would otherwise not occur, is more accurately known as synchronicity. Events taken at a precise moment in time, synchronicity rears its head and something fantastic happens ... enough for philosophical Utopia and Wastelandthought, look instead to the coming together of two highly skilled and talented artists. The timely pairing of Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar created a whole far greater than its component parts, with a combination of extraordinarily distinctive voice, stunningly dextrous musical ability and inspirational compositions.

The latest manifestation of their partnership is the album ‘Utopia And Wasteland’ due for release 13 April 2018 ... and it’s an album that demonstrates two formidable talents. There’s regular media reference to their lack of years, as though that somehow makes their talent more amazing, forget their ages, listen to the music, that’s testament enough. Here are incensed tales about individuals, angry stories of governmental ignorance, social injustice and appalling misguided prejudice ... each presented through accomplished arrangements delivered with raw fervour. The charisma is there from ‘Line Two’ with its observations on the arrival of HS2, through ‘Seven Hills’ examining the construct of ‘home’ physical or otherwise and the harrowing ‘We Are Leaving’ relating a first-hand view of the Grenfell Tower disaster to an establishment-ignored hero in ‘Walter’.

‘Utopia And Wasteland’ produces both passion and presence and makes an incredibly powerful musical statement.

Playing on ‘Utopia And Wasteland’ are Greg Russell (voice, acoustic guitar) Ciaran Algar (violin, tenor banjo, electric tenor guitar, bodhran, voice) with mark Tucker (percussion, bass, backing vocals).

Website: www.russellalgar.co.uk

Review: Tim Carroll

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