There Y'are Now (2008)

Ceilidh Minogue


01. The Gay Gordon's (Dornoch Links/ Barren Rocks/ Heilin' Laddie/ The Black Bear/ Jim Anderson's Delight)
02. The Witches Reel (King's Reel/ Lads of Laois/ Janine's Reel/ Greenfields of Glentown)
03. Medley (Margaret's Fancy/ MacKenzie Hay/ Dr Morrison's Seven Thistles/ Donald MacLean of Lewis)
04. The Dasher (MacArthur's Road/ Jean's Reel/ Hughie Shortie's/ Trip To Windsor/ The Ness Pipers/ Harris Dance/ Dashing White Sergeant)
05. Gaelic Waltz (Leaving Stornaway/ Sunset Over Foula/ Ronas Voe)
06. The Jigs (Haste to the Wedding/ Jim McAlister's Jig/ Stan Chapman/ The Sailor's Wife)
07. The Barn Dance (Tam Bain's Lum/ Major Manson's Farewell to Clachantrushal)
08. Veleta Waltz (Veleta/ DonauWellen/ Over The Waves)
09. Circassian Circle (Circassian Circle/ Devon Reel/ Lord Randall's Bride/ Bill Sutherland/ Hunter Hill)
10. The Two Step (Looking For A Partner/ Frank Jamieson 2-step)
11. Bennachie Sunrise
12. The Stripper (Snug in a Blanket/ Kenny McDonald's Jig/ Blow My Chanter/ The Famous Baravan/ Da Tushkar/ The New High Level)

'Remember back in the '50s when Scottish dance bands would include a trumpet or trombone? No? Neither do I, but the concept has been resurrected by these piano-box-led punsters. They're not blonde, they're not cute, they're not particularly small, and they most definitely don't sing, but otherwise Ceilidh Minogue provides all you could wish for in a ceilidh band. Their marches are crisp, their reels are fluid, their jigs impertinent and their waltzes sublime. I count at least ten of my favourite tunes on this recording, and the rest aren't bad. There's an unexplained fondness for the compositions of Ronnie Cooper, the late great Gaelic-speaking Shetlander, including Jim Anderson's Delight, Sunset Over Foula, Ronas Voe, Frank Jamieson and Da Tushkar. There's a couple of Gordon Duncan jigs, a few more pipe tunes from modern composers, and fiddle music from Gow through Skinner to Holland. The range of dances is more than adequate for an average ceilidh: Gay Gordons, Dashing White Sergeant, Strip the Willow, Barn Dance, Two-Step, a couple of waltzes and plenty of jigs and reels. Ms Minogue can handle classics like The Deveron Reel and The Sailor's Wife, as well as continental waltzes and the big band sound of Looking For a Partner.
As listening music, There Y'Are Now has even more to offer. The horn section turns Ceilidh Minogue into a sort of tartan La Bottine Souriante, bags of energy and more than a few humorous touches. The slides on The Black Bear are priceless, the brass background on The Dasher is inspired, and the smoother side of brass brings out the beauty of Bennachie Sunrise. These guys can take the dance music seriously as well: the change into a jig in The Gay Gordons is truly uplifting, the boys are always on the beat, and the tempo is rock solid. Nice touches abound on almost every track: the hard-hitting start to MacArthur Road, the growling fiddle on King's Reel, the little riff in Stan Chapman's, and great harmonies on Snug in a Blanket. I'd prefer a little more staccato in Tam Bain's Lum, and perhaps a touch more snap on MacKenzie Hay, but this is undoubtedly a first-class album and a fine follow-up to their 2006 CD. Led by Gregor Lowrey amd Gavin Marwick on box and fiddle, Ceilidh Minogue's regular rhythm section is pianist Bob Turner and drummer Alastair Morrow. They are augmented here by Duncan Findlay on fretted strings, and that horn trio of course. Tastier than a deep-fried pizza: get up and dance, or sit back and listen, but don't miss Ceilidh Minogue.’ - Alex Monaghan, FolkWorld


‘The "punny" name of this band might lead one to expect a sultry lead singer who belts out danceable songs while strutting across the stage with a short dress and attitude. Come to think of that, that doesn't sound like a bad idea.
But that's not Ceilidh Minogue, and Ceilidh Minogue is doing just fine the way it is. There's nary a voice to be heard on There Y'are Now, their second CD release, but this Scottish ceilidh band serves up a blast of danceable sets that will keep the feet tapping, the blood pumping and, quite likely, the neighbors pounding on your door to turn it down.
This is good stuff. Really good stuff. And, while the 12 sets on the album would be more than suitable for any Scottish dance event, Ceilidh Minogue doesn't simply follow tradition; it accentuates it.
The foundation of Ceilidh Minogue is core musicians Gregory Lowrey on accordion, Gavin Marwik on fiddle, Bob Turner on piano and Alastair Morrow on drums and percussion. On this CD, Duncan Findlay provides guitars and banjo. And, while the core group alone can really get things going, the music just soars when the horn section -- Ryan Quigley on trumpet, Konrad Wiszniewski on sax and Steve Hawkes on fluglehorn -- is brought to bear. Why, I find myself wondering, aren't horns already included among Scottish traditional instruments?
The only shame here is that this band, still playing after 15 years, has released only two CDs over that period. They need to get back in the studio soon, or at the very least record some of their live performances for posterity. I'll be watching my mailbox.’ -