CD Review – Bright Young Folk

Barrule 2013 studio album
Released by Easy On The Record May 2013

It is not often that you see music from Isle of Man storming its way so forcefully though the Celtic folk world but it’s mostly certainly good to see. The band Barrule consists of three young men playing a variety of accordion and stringed instruments to present good old fashion Celtic tunes.

Their self-titled album kick starts us with a wonderful bouncy set called Mylecharaine’s March which is an instrumental set of clear Celtic tradition and presents us with an early view of the playing ability of the band. It is a set which is full of energy and foot tapping to ready you for what is to follow.

Big surprises come in In Search of Manannan. The first of which being the homage it pays to the band’s Manx roots as Manannan is the Celtic God who set up his fortress on the Manx summit of Barrule. Here is a great reference to the band’s name, their homeland and of course that big connection to the Celtic Folk world.

This track provides us with other lovely surprises too as we get our first taste of vocals, which are raspy and rugged but perfectly fitting with this style of music! This track is not the only tribute to the Isle of Man either as Langness also provides a tale set there.

The album does not over play vocals, it relies on the power of the instruments and adds vocals in where they are appropriate, such as with She Lhong Honnick Mee, where the Celtic lyrics softly swim along with the music without in any way overbearing it.

Not all tunes are bouncy sets either. Five Hours Behind gives us a much slower track which acts as a soothing mid-album break before merging into another faster track called Allen Barbara.

The liveliest tracks on the album are The Girls of Balladoole, ”Engage!” and Europop Vona, all three of these tracks use the instruments to their full potential to give bouncy and all round enjoyable sets to listen to.

Paul Rawcliffe