‘Tuneship’ from Dàimh - all the unmistakeable Dàimh hallmarks(October 24, 2013)
The previous album from Dàimh was almost played to death in our house and there’s every reason to believe that their latest offering ‘Tuneship’ will become a permanent fixture on the stereo for some time. Fusing the threads of their West Highlands and Islands heritage with the sparkle of personal innovation Dàimh take you on a roller coaster of sensations through dazzling jigs to vibrant reels from lively songs to mournful ballads. There’s all the unmistakeable Dàimh hallmarks, instrumentals forged with the familiar combination of pipes, whistles, strings and Gaelic songs that alternate between roaring enthusiasm and thoughtful reflection, and while on the subject of Gaelic song, ‘Tuneship’ also features the debut of Griogair Labhruidh with his truly inspired vocal expression.
From the breath-taking pipes that herald ‘Raasay’ through the softly dancing strings of ‘Barra To Balloch’ to the magical concoction of ‘Coddywatch’ you’re on familiar ground. The songs range from the ancient ‘Siud Agaibh an Deoch a dh’ Òlainn’ through the drinking experiences of ‘Hiù ra bhò Nuair a Chaidh mi a Ghlaschu’ to the haunting ‘Mo Ghleannan Taobh Loch Lìobhann’, each one supremely engaging whether or not you have the language of A' Ghàidhealtachd.
‘Tuneship’ is a many-faceted album that you can take ‘as it comes’ or slowly immerse yourself in its enchantment – either will reward you. Catch for instance Damian Helliwell’s gentle tune ‘Bottle for Brig’ with its soft allure that steadily enfolds, the sinuous involvement of Angus MacKenzie’s ‘Stormy Hill’ or the jaunty exuberance of ‘The Gannet’ from McVarish, Martin and White– however you choose to listen, casually or carefully, there’s much to relish.
Dàimh are Angus Mackenzie (Highland pipes, whistles) Damian Helliwell (mandolin, banjo) Gabe McVarish (fiddles) Ross Martin (guitar) and Griogair Labhruidh (Gaelic song, Uilleann pipes). Also appearing on various tracks on ‘Tuneship’ are Donald Hay (percussion) Jenny Hill (double bass) Eilidh Shaw (fiddle) Duncan Lyall Double bass) Decker Forrest (tromb) and the Clachnabrochan Gaelic Choir.
You can find ‘Tuneship’ here: www.daimh.net
Reviewer: Tim Carroll