'An Dà Là’ (The Two Days) from Mànran - now stronger than ever(January 09, 2017)
There is and has always been, a feeling of latent energy flowing through the music of Mànran, sometimes it’s restrained, sometimes given free rein but always there’s that sense of expentancy that accompanies each piece. The recognition of tradition sits close by with the need to innovate. The freedom of invention coated in the wealth of heritage. The influences swirl and swing around the music. Now, with their latest album 'An Dà Là’ (translating as ‘The Two Days’ a Gaelic expression for great change) they return more powerful than ever with a more capacious sound and more hidden depths, and still with their expansive range and scope. Everything that was before remains, but now it’s stronger than ever.
They create a blend where original joins with traditional, with never a seam in sight. The evidence is the mix that presents ‘Fiasco’, moving through ‘Inspector’ and ‘Parallels’ on to ‘Alpha’ and ‘Strong’ ... music that pulls you in so many emotional and experiencing directions. The songs range wide and free through traditional and original views ... ‘Trod’ takes in over-imbibing of ‘the water of life’, ‘Pandora’ the insidious influence of technology, and ‘Fios’ the injustices of ‘the clearances’.
'An Dà Là’ is an accomplished album from skilled musicians, and something you really ought to own.
Mànran are Ewen Henderson (vocals, fiddle, Highland pipes) Gary Innes (accordion) Craig Irving (guitar, vocals) Ryan Murphy (Uilleann pipes, wooden flute) Ross Saunders (bass guitar, vocals) and Mark Scobbie (drums, percussion).
Review: Tim Carroll