Review Archive

‘The Red Hot Chilli Pipers – Live At The Lake 2014’ - energy of raw musical muscle

(November 16, 2014)

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have forged a reputation for a delivering a wild, frenetic folk-rock fusion they call ‘Bagrock’ - high-energy classic rock and pop tunes morphing into and across traditionally Live At The Lake 2014inspired and original jigs, reels and strathspeys to forge a synthesis that defies classification. There’s air-ripping guitars, pile-driving percussion, waves of keyboards and synth, searing fiddles and a rushing tsunami of bagpipes. Now there’s a double CD, live album that delivers their all-consuming and unique presence, it’s ‘The Red Hot Chilli Pipers – Live At The Lake 2014’, a recording from the Milwaukee Irish Fest, and from start to finish it’s nothing short of explosive.

If you’ve never seen the Red Hot Chilli Pipers live this will make you want to experience raw musical muscle, and if you have caught the live act, then this recording delivers the intensity you remember.

Feel the awed anticipation of the crowd through the haunting opening of ‘Insomnia’ then the wild cheer as the pipes kick in, from there you’re hauled physically into the unabashed raunchiness of ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have you in their grasp. The high-spots on this double album are many and the mix is eclectic. Not every track arrives with a visceral rush, instead it moves through a scintillating wash of aural sensations. Their energising of the traditional Irish classic ‘Silver Spear’ and mix of synthesised rage, percussion avalanche and skirling pipes on ‘Thunderstruck’ sit perfectly alongside the rocketing funk of ‘Everybody Dance Now’, the haunting keys and evocative vocals echoing through ‘Amazing Grace’ and the jig-melange of ‘Croftinloan Times’.

A true ‘live’ album demands it captures the primal essence of a ‘live’ show and ‘Live At The Lake 2014’ delivers at every single level. The first CD closes with a classic example, an audience hauled willingly into ‘Rory’s Baravan’ before CD 2 opens and ‘Chasing Cars’ brings its capturing magic into play alongside an unforgettable rendition of ‘Wake Me Up’. The ongoing duelling between guitar, keys, brass, pipes and percussion continues through ‘Long Way To The Top’, the howling audience participation of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ and ‘100 Pipers’ with a touch of ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ through the blistering, unrestrained power of ‘We Will Rock You’.

The thousands at the Milwaukee Irish Fest were swept away, listen to this album and you’ll join them!

Find The Red Hot Chilli Pipers and ‘Live At The Lake 2014’ here:

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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