- 15 Nov 11
Rockestral album from Dublin's musical institution.
Filaments is the long-overdue debut album from a loose amalgam of world-class Irish musicians playing together since 1976. From the opener ‘First Filament’, itself part of a seven-piece suite, it takes you on an exhilarating instrumental journey through several moods and musical landscapes, evoking the marriage of Sean O Riada and prog-rock, with the ghost of Mike Oldfield hovering close by.
‘In Flight’ is a slick, funky slab with Celtic overtones. A typewriter (acoustic?) intros the sturdy ‘This Is The News’, which has quirky Kraftwerkian vocals, ‘No Road Back’ has delicious trumpet and ‘Mollie’s Jig’ features nifty whistling from Mick O’Brien and Oldfield-style guitaring from Anto Drennan. An infectious rhythm underpins the jaunty ‘Strum’, while ‘Genopolis’ has attractive wordless vocals and Knopfleresque guitars. The nimble piano-led ‘Round Dance’ evokes Mícheál O Súilleabháin, with O’Brien’s pipes rattling along while duelling with Drennan’s guitar. There’s a Celtic plaintiveness about ‘Ailsa Craig’ and ‘Up By The Sea’, although Philip Begley’s drums kick the latter into the modern era.
All tracks on Filaments are written by Paul Egan, who also contributes bass and acoustic guitar. Other leading Liffey lights include Brian Dunning on flute and David Agnew (oboe). If there’s a fault, blame that ghost, but all of the 18 pieces are delivered with verve and an unbridled joy in music-making. It would be a shame if the follow-up took as long.