Review Archive

'The Vintage Years' - The Bully Wee Band

(June 19, 2012)

The saying: “…born at the right time…” couldn’t be more appropriate in describing this more thanBully Wee Band - Vintage Years welcome trip down memory lane with The Bully Wee Band. I remember first meeting members of the band when they turned up unannounced one night at the Cambridge Folk Festival (was it really 1975?) and provided their spell-bound audience with an impromptu set that left us all breathless thinking just how good they were.

They also…just by chance…happened to have some freshly pressed vinyl and sold a batch of them including one to yours truly. In their short-lived five year career the band provided the ‘folk’ club scene with some of the most enjoyable Celtic based music and entertainment (at that time not a ‘dirty’ word) it was our pleasure to experience.

Captured here is a good cross-section from each of the band’s four recordings showcasing the talents of Frank Simon’s flashy, jazz tinged guitar playing to Jim and John Yardley’s knowledge of traditional songs, Ian Cutler’s demon fiddle, Fergus Feely’s wit and pumping bouzouki and Colin Reece armed with his own self-penned traditional styled songs. ‘Trooper And The Maid’, ‘Trumpet Hornpipe’, ‘Open The Door Softly’ and ‘Madmen Of Gotham’…they’re all here with the trademark Bully Wee sound and personally speaking not a duff track to be found anywhere.

Expertly digitally re-mastered by Graham Semark, this is an opportunity for those old enough to remember the band’s glory days to reacquaint themselves with a group that would certainly give any of today’s young pretenders a run for their money. The Vintage Years 1975-1980 is out on Slaughterhouse Productions SLP009CD.

Reviewer: Pete Fyfe

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