Review Archive

‘Notes After Dark’ from Full Set - vitality, skill and passion

(July 25, 2013)

Perhaps it’s my ancestors calling to me or maybe it’s just an inherent love of Irish music, whatever the notes after darkcatalyst, every time I hear music such as this delivered with the vitality, skill and passion offered by bands like Full Set I’m hooked. So call me biased but there it is - their latest album ‘Notes After Dark’ offers a rich selection of powerhouse reels, gentle reflective ballads, mournful airs and swirling jigs delivered with a level of musicianship that will always ‘set the best apart from the rest’.

What makes Full Set exceptional? There’s Michael Harrison weaving a web of fiddle magic, Martino Vacca displaying consummate control of the uilleann pipes and Janine Redmond’s inspired touch on button accordion. Eamonn Moloney persuading bodhrán and percussion to mark their presence, Andy Meaney's soft authority on guitars and bass, while Teresa Horgan plays flute and adds her gorgeous voice to the songs.

The effervescence of the opening set of reels ‘Gus Jordan’s, The Glen Road to Carrick, The Road to Edenderry’, sets a seal on the tunes, along with the vivacity of the jigs ‘Leipheim Jig, Kevin Louhglin’s, The Greenfields of Woodford’ and the inspired march and jig combination ‘The March of the Minn, Up and about in the Morning, Grogan’s’. And should you be able to keep your seat during ‘The Bells of St. Louis, The Road to Lisdoonvarna, Boil the Breakfast early’ then you’re probably already dead. These superbly played tunes are a dazzling example of all that Full Set has to offer. The songs too are without exception, engrossing, ‘Both Sides the Tweed’ inhabits your soul, ‘The Roseville Fair’ is a slice of pure beauty and ‘The Bonnie House of Airlie’ sends shivers down your spine.

‘Notes After Dark’ brews up a heady mix of influences from Irish, Scottish and American traditions, incorporate original compositions, not forgetting a ragtime two-step. The clarity and purity of the music on offer here is striking. While young musicians present tradition and innovation in equally splendid measure the heritage lives and remains strong.

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Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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