Archive

Archive: Reviews – Rain On The Roof (1996)

Label: AK (2) ‎– AK-1

Released: 1996


Andy Irvine has been labeled as a ‘ Legend of Irish music ‘, over the years and this must be a very heavy weight to carry around and to record new material under. Though he seems to do so with ease.

Rain on the Roof is a solo album, which up until very recently, was only sold at his concerts. It is an album of exceptional quality and freshness, that leaves you wanting more of the atmosphere created on this disc. It is mainly recorded in one take, just Andy, bouzouki and microphone. It is as close to a live recording as they come and is a small taste of what you would experience from his concerts. A small taste, as he has a very large repertoire now. This album leaves you wishing for more of that repertoire to be recorded in the same vein. I am not a big fan of people re-recording old tracks, they never seem to capture the emotion and energy from those first attempts, but there are very rare exceptions to that and this is definitely one of them.

The first track is prince among men, I loved the original with Andy and Patrick Street but this version knocks it flat. The emotion and atmosphere created here and to be honest, on the whole album is astounding. It reminds me of the feeling I had when I first heard him play live. Fantastic !

The second Track is Banesas’s Green Glade and I have admit that my first thoughts when reading the track listing was, why would anyone even try to redo this track. The original is a classic but somehow the emotion on this recording is spot on. This was originally done together with Planxty and it asks how would ‘Rambling boys of Pleasure’, ‘ Aragon Mills’ or a mountain of others sound with this treatment. I have seen Andy play ‘You Rambling boys of Pleasure’ live and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, magical. Baneasa is following by a Balkan tune called Daichevo Horo, an excellent tune and I love the way this slow emotional track progresses to the fury of the Balkan melody. I have to say that I prefer the original combination of Baneasas being followed by Mominsko Horo but that takes nothing away from this version. I have seen him play Banesas/ Daichevo Horo live and it is quite breathe taking.

Rain on the Roof/ The Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Turn this track up to get full effect of the Rain and Didgeredoo. Surprising really, how well the mandolin works with the didgeredoo. Andy has spent so much time in Australia, that I am surprised he hasn’t recorded more of it. I love the feeling in this track !

My Hearts tonight in Ireland first appeared on a compilation album called Common Ground around ’96. Again a beautiful tune played together with Donal Lunny , Rens Van Der Zalm etc. But once again this version has so much more feeling to it. A tune of remember the good ol’ days back in Ireland and times of Sweeney’s’s men. In this version you can really hear it in his voice. This is sure to be one of those classic Irish tunes.

Forgotten Hero, was another track done with Patrick Street, about Michael Davitt. Again this opens the thoughts of a few more Patrick Street tracks reworked with this solo treatment. ‘Brackagh Hill’, ‘Springfield road/ monday Blues ‘ to name a few.

Pamela’s Ruchenitsa/ Gruncharsko Horo/ Bakers Dozen, I never get tired of hearing Andy playing this type of Balkan tunes. In the first concert I ever saw him play, it was these type of Balkan music that made me want to play the bouzouki. It still does !

He Fades Away is a new track and a wonderful one too. Written by Alaistar Hullett it paints a grim picture of asbestos miners, through the eyes of they’re wives. It is a very powerful tune and one that Andy sings with his heart.

Come with me over the mountain/ smile in the dark. A very lively set here, and the mandola here sounding in top form. I will have to get around to learning the Smile in the Dark. Wonderful. If anyone out there can play this, send me the tab.

The monument, the only track on the album that I don’t personally like. Maybe this is where Aragon mills or even Raoul Wallenberg could have been slipped in. A sad song with a serious not, and still beautifully sung.

Take no Prisoners and Old Brunswick are brilliantly played here. I get great pleasure listening to these tunes and even greater pleasure playing them. A really great set of tunes, for the bouzouki. The Balkan tunes on this album have a real edge to them and this is something that I would have like to have heard a lot more of on East Wind. A great album with Davy Spillane but Andy is washed out a little too much in the mix for my taste. I could listen to these tunes all day!

Never Tire of the Road, first appeared on Andy’s Rude Awakening album. A tune that has over the years, become Andy’s signature tune. I really like the original tune from the moment I heard it and was singing it for days. The Rain on the Roof version of this tune is more up beat, faster and is played with a little more aggression in its attack. A really great choice, for a final track and an incredible version too.

This is a very impressive rework of some of Andy’s material and presented together with some wonderful new songs and tunes. I must admit to have grown a little tired of a lot of albums these days being so over produced and a lot of the instruments being lost in the mix. While music is being mixed and produced to the ceiling, I feel so much of the emotion and feeling is falling through the floor. This album comes across with a fresh, crisp mix and performed with such emotion that you are sucked in to the atmosphere that is created in the words sung. I have to say this is my favorite album by Andy Irvine, and quite possibly my favorite album in my entire CD collection!

by Kieron

source: China2Galway.com [deadlink]

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Archive: 2004 – Reviews – Mozaik – Live from the Powerhouse

Music Review/Album: 27 May 2004

Rather fatuously billed on the CD sleeve as “the ultimate global stringband”, Mozaik are Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Bruce Molsky (USA), Rens Van Der Zalm (Holland) and Nikola Parov (Hungary), and this album was recorded live in Brisbane two years ago with the lads playing 18 instruments between them. The recording quality thankfully captures all the rapture of a terrific gig.

As with anything Irvine and Lunny get up to, there are exhilarating tracks here (‘Sandansko Oro’, ‘Mechkin Kamen’) in the kind of Eastern European time-signatures that would move your pocket calculator to meltdown. ‘Pony Boy’ boasts some terrific fiddle duetting from Molsky and Van Der Zalm, and serves as a handsome build-up to Irvine’s gritty vocals on his own zestful ‘Never Tire Of The Road’. The versions of both ‘A Blacksmith Courted Me’ and the complex ‘Smeseno Horo’ stand comparison with the Planxty covers of yore.

The latter is a veritable stringfest, with Parov’s kaval going head to furious head with the instruments of Lunny and Irvine. But perhaps the most touching of the material is Irvine’s heartfelt tribute to the legendary Willie Clancy in ‘My Heart’s Tonight In Ireland’.

The quintet on this performance may not be as pioneering as Lunny’s short-lived Coolfin project, but their unquestionable virtuosity and sheer joy in playing together makes this a memorable memento of what must have been a live gig to remember.

Jackie Hayden – Hotpress

source:hotpress.com


Hummingbird HBCD0036; 62 minutes; 2004

 According to legend, the term “World Music” was apparently coined by a group of record label marketing executives at a dinner held somewhere in London sometime in the mid-1980s. However, if such an event ever took place, none of those present could possibly have envisaged the existence of a band like Mozaik, even in their wildest brandy-fuelled, post-prandial deliberations.

 For Mozaik, dear reader, is that rarity, a truly international band which consists of the London-born of mixed Scots/Irish parentage Andy Irvine, Kildare alumnus Dónal Lunny, American old-timey fiddler and banjo player Bruce Molsky, Dutch multi-instrumentalist Rens van der Zalm and the similarly skilled Hungarian Nikola Parov. Add to that brew Irvine’s well-documented affection for the music of the Balkans and all manner of quirky time signatures and the fact that the Powerhouse in question is in Brisbane, Australia and those marketing executives would be chortling into their glasses and calling for trebles all round.

It was Andy Irvine, of course, who was behind the original Mosaic (presumably, someone else now has the licence for the name) which first appeared after the final break-up of Planxty in 1983 and featured, alongside Dónal Lunny and uilleann piper Declan Masterson, and various European musicians.

That band never recorded, but thankfully this one has, though the concerts from which this album are drawn took place in March 2002. Nevertheless, a recent conversation with Andy revealed his desire for the album to achieve some recognition and, on the evidence provided, you’d be well advised to take heed.

One of the attractions of Planxty was the band’s never to be replicated line-up of instruments – uilleann pipes plus the various stringed instruments of Irvine and Lunny and the bodhrán of Christy Moore – and this is equally where Mozaik’s innate attractions lie. Apart from Andy’s occasional harmonica and Nikola’s whistle and clarinet, this is very much a string driven band (though any connection with the lamentable 1970s UK progressive band String Driven Thing should be firmly avoided). Like Planxty, Mozaik seem to be masters of all they survey, although it’s a substantially different landscape – one in which they can move from Aegean Macedonia (Suleman’s Kopanitsa, in the extraordinary time signature of 11/16) to Bruce Molsky’s Tennessee-inspired version of The Rocky Road to Dublin which itself segues into a wild Kentucky breakout, with Nikola’s whistle blowing hell for leather, on Indian Ate the Woodchuck. And from there it’s off to a Dutchman, Rens, playing a Rumanian tune on the fiddle which Andy once heard on a tour of Italy with the Breton band Gwerz!

If this all sounds as though musical passports are an essential requirement, fear ye not! Every listening unearths gems which possess an inherent commonality, but it’s Andy’s songs which, ultimately, provide the coat peg on which this truly international  and thoroughly enjoyable musical exploration can hang its hat (and, as Marvin Gaye wrote, “Wherever I hang my hat is my home”).

So amidst all the musical exploration there’s a wonderful reading of A Blacksmith Courted Me and perhaps everybody’s favourite Irvine composition, My Heart’s Tonight in Ireland “in the time of Sweeney in the sweet County Clare”, to which Dónal adds Robinson County, learnt from Pumpkinhead, and Bruce finales with a splendidly exuberant Trip to Durrow. Then there’s the Macedonian song Mechkin Kamen and a stirring tribute to Woody Guthrie – Never Tire of the Road.

Naturally, the album has to include the tune with which Planxty opened ears to Eastern Europe, Smeseno Horo (in a bizarre mix of 15/16 and 9/16 signatures) and the CD aptly closes with an evocative clarinet-led rendition of the Hungarian tune The Last Dance.

All told, this is a stunning confection and an extraordinary collaboration which should be valued and cherished. More treble brandies all round!

Geoff Wallis – 11th May, 2004

source:www.irishmusicreview.com

Archive: 02 Feb 2006 – Setlist & Review “Folk Britannia: Which Side Are You On?”

About the Performance

2 February 2006 / 19:30 – Barbican Centre, London, England
Tickets: £15 £20 £25 – Sold out

Hosted and curated by Billy Bragg this concert focuses on songs of social engagement and commentary.

Special guests include English folk legend Martin Carthy, Scottish stalwart Dick Gaughan, Maggie Holland and singer-songwriter Robb Johnnson.

From the radical folk protest of luminaries such as Ewan McColl to the more contemplative songs on the role of the individual in society. Social and political commentary has always played a key role in the British music scene reflecting on many aspects of social life from industrial strife to anti-war protest, to general disaffection, alienation and opposition to repressive governments.

Produced by the Barbican in association with BBC Four.


Live at Barbican Centre, London, England

Concert featuring Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy, Donovan, Dick Gaughan, Maggie Holland, Andy Irvine, Robb Johnson, Neill & Calum MacColl, Karine Polwart & Chris Wood supported by Martin Barker & Simon Edwards

Andy’s Setlist

Do Re Mi (Billy Bragg, Andy Irvine… more )
The Ballad of Tom Joad
Never Tire of the Road

Encore:

Hard Travelin’ (Woody Guthrie cover) (Singalong with all performers)

In Review

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? BILLY BRAGG AND COMRADES

The Barbican, London, February 2nd, 2006

I sometimes wonder what we did to deserve Billy Bragg. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s a nice guy (or should I say bloke?) and I don’t question the sincerity of his views, and I would be the first to confess that he can write a decent song or two, but doesn’t his brand of simple minded and sanctimonious schoolboy socialism just wear you down after a while? It’s the sort of naïve and haplessly enthusiastic amateurism that would only be tolerated in Britain, where (judging by his audience tonight) he is held in high esteem. But I’m sorry, and if I may use a comedic metaphor, I have to say that for me he’s the Harry Worth of revolutionary socialism.

But then maybe I’m the sort of disenchanted, middle-aged, comfortably-off cynic that Dick Gaughan (one of the stellar list of performers who joined blokey Billy in this BBC 4 sponsored evening of songs of protest) sang about, preferring an easy life of material pleasure to one of continual struggle. Well perhaps. But I don’t see why I have to put up with patronising primary school lectures from Billy the Bloke about the p’lyikul folk tradition, what it means to be English (a subject which, god help us. Billy Bloque is writing a book), the English p’lyikul folk tradition, Billy’s role in the p’lyikul English struggle of the traditional folk – well, I think you get the picture. We’re here to listen to some outstanding talent (on a good day I might even put BB in the lower quartile of that group) celebrate the songs of Woody Guthrie and Ewan McColl in particular, not to suffer the Blokeoid bouncing around the stage like a podgy Leninist Labrador pup with pitiable posture. Enough!

To be frank when I booked these seats the line up was only about half complete. So I was as surprised as anyone when, after Billy and his two accompanying blokes first kicked off with a couple of tunes (including Florence Reece’s ‘Which side are you on’, which gave the evening its title) and then with Robb Johnson sang Woody Guthrie’s ‘I guess I planted’, Donovan walked on the stage. Looking like a portly pixie who’d spent the last thirty years in the magic pie shoppe he briefly presented his credentials – “It was out of Glasgow that I came, and my father was a socialist” – and then, sadly, croaked his way through his mega-hit, Buffy St Marie’s ‘Universal Soldier’.

Martin Carthy

But the evening got better – Martin Carthy, (who I have come to regard as truly outstanding since I saw him last year, having revisited some of his old stuff that I had hidden away, and explored his newer material) gave us a master class in two short sessions of how English folk music should be played and sung. His well chosen songs were MacColl’s ‘I’m champion at keeping them rolling’ (yikes – a song about British truck drivers?), the moving ‘Company policy’, an angry lament for the lost British sailors of the Falklands war, and the even more moving ‘18th June’ , about THAT famous battle at Waterloo in 1815. If you haven’t listened to Carthy then you should – his droning, picking guitar style is almost unique. But it does remind me a little of Dick Gaughan, son of Leith, with a spine shuddering voice and an astonishingly aggressive and staccato guitar style. In addition to giving us complacent ones a sharp dig in the ribs, Dick sang ‘Outlaws and dreamers’ and Peggy Seeger’s ‘Song of choice’. Frankly I could have listened to him all night and wouldn’t have got too cross about his unyielding dialectic – for a debunking of the romantic myths of Scottish History as refreshing as Michael Marra’s, try and find him singing ‘No gods and precious few heroes’.We got history of a sort from Maggie Holland singing her award winning composition ‘A place called England’ (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards “Best Song of 1999”). This England, so much admired by Radio 2 listeners, is one where freedom and liberty is assured to all good and true providing we set about growing nasturtiums and runner beans on the land occupied by disused steel works, shipyards etc. Yes friends, it was predictable that this had to be followed by an ensemble performance (Bragg, Gaughan, Holland) of ‘The world turned upside down’, a celebration of the short lived Digger movement of the English Civil War, much feted in a book of the same name by the great Marxist historian Christopher Hill, who like all good scholars never allowed facts to get in the way of an argument. It’s all Golden Age nonsense really, and only goes to confirm my suspicions that all Radio 2 listeners live firmly in a fantasy world. Ironically when I typed ‘The world turned upside down’ into Google one of the first references I got was to a popular song from the seventeenth century lamenting the defeat of King Charles at the Battle of Naseby, and the subsequent suppression of festivities (English good and true) such as Christmas by the radicals and Cromwell’s New Model Army. Strangely this song of protest didn’t get onto the set list.

Left to right: Dick Gaughan, Billy Bragg and Andy Irvine

But some cracking ones did. A real surprise to me was the foursome of Chris Wood, Karine Polwart, and Neill and Callum MacColl – the two sons of Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. They performed three songs written by their father, the stunning highlight of which was Chris Wood singing the touchingly cynical ‘The father’s song’. I read that Wood’s 2005 album The Lark Descending is a real cracker – put it on your list, it’s certainly on mine. But before these guys we had, in my opinion, the star turn of the night, Andy Irvine of Planxty fame. Readers may recall my enthusiasm for Irvine from last year’s Planxty gig at the same venue – apparently Irvine is a great Guthrie scholar, and much admired by Mr Bragg. This evening his short performance alone was worth the cost of the ticket. With Bragg and Gaughan he performed Guthrie’s ‘Do re mi’, and solo, playing bouzouki and harmonica a simply jaw-dropping version of ‘Tom Joad’, followed by his own song about Guthrie, ‘Never tired of the road’. Just wonderful. And Billy didn’t do too badly towards the end as he sang his lovely ‘Between the wars’…

But then of course it was time for the dreadful bit when the stage was filled (at least when Gaughan and half the performers could be lured back from the smoking room) and the assembled cast stumbled their way through MacColl’s ‘Dirty old town’. Of course by this time we were all bursting to rush for the barricades, so as soon as the fulsome and largely deserved applause died down we scrambled for the fenced-in taxi rank. “Anyone like to share a cab to the revolution in W4?” – Nick Morgan (photographs by Kate).

source: whiskyfun.com

Archive: 2003 – Planx for the music – Hotpress

Planx for the music

No Disco pay homage to groundbreaking Irish post-trad band Planxty in an hour long special (tonight, Wednesday, March 5th, N2, 11.50pm)

In not-so-typical No Disco stylee, tonight’s hour’s-worth of unknown televisual pleasures takes the unlikely form of an hour-long Planxty special.

“On tonight’s No Disco, we pay very special homage to Planxty, one of the great groundbreaking and rule-breaking bands of Irish musical history,” explains Cork’s redoubtable disco-free massive in a press release this morning. (hmm, maybe it IS “typical No Disco” after all)

“Featuring exclusive interviews with three of the original members – Andy Irvine, Christy Moore and Liam Og O’Flynn – we trace their formation in Prosperous, Co. Kildare in 1971, right through their glorious first period, taking in stunning live performances and TV appearances from the RTE archive, as well as the various lineup changes, business mishaps and landmarks, the 1978 reformation, following the ongoing saga to this very day. The program also features performances from Planxty’s ’70s contemporaries such as Paul Brady and the Bothy Band.”

Even more enticingly, non-Planxty guest interviewees on tonight’s programme – that is, Planxty fans with whom hotpress.com readers might just be extremely familiar – include David Kitt, Richie Egan (The Redneck Manifesto), Jimi Goodwin (Doves) and Colm Mac An Iomaire (the Frames).

“The program is not intended as a definitive Planxty documentary by any means,” the ND boys add, “but is merely No Disco’s perspective on one of the most influential and joyous bands of music makers this country has ever seen or heard.”

Tonight’s No Disco Planxty special airs at the later-than-usual time of 11.50pm (N2), just after the Meteor Awards. Synchronise VCRs, peops…

source: hotpress.com

Archive: 2005 – Interview with Thistle Radio

As a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Andy Irvine has been a part of some of the most influential Irish music recordings and a member of Sweeney’s Men, Planxty, Moving Hearts and Patrick Street.

(This interview was recorded in Perthshire in 2005)

Fiona:
I’ve met with Andy Irvine and we’re sitting, on a lovely, sunny morning, overlooking the banks of the River Tay. And it’s just a great opportunity to stop for a moment with you on your travels and talk a little bit about what you’ve been doing all these years. So thanks for taking the time to meet up with me.

Andy:
A great pleasure, great pleasure Fiona.

Fiona:
When I think back on your journey and I think of Sweeney’s Men and up through the years with Planxty, and on with Patrick Street and all through that your solo work, it’s been a long road, and a long journey. What leads you on?

Andy:
Oh, well that’s a difficult one really. I’m trying not to be lead on quite as much in future. I haven’t started my new regime yet, but, I don’t know, I kind of complain all the time and say ‘Oh, I’m not going to do this. I’m going to cut down on my touring etc.’ and I never do. Maybe I can’t say no. ‘I’m just a boy who can’t say no,’ or maybe it’s just that I love it, you know. Also it’s my life, it’s the way it is, so what else would you be doing?

Fiona:
Yes, I suppose it does become a lifestyle, doesn’t it, being on the road. And maybe the more you do it, the longer you’ve been doing it, in some ways the easier it gets. You know what it takes to get up and go, you know what’s needed, you know how long it takes to get you from A to B to C to Y to Z. And you become an old hand and that’s an asset for someone who travels as much as you do.

Andy:
I think that’s true. I learned the ropes many, many years ago but there are still new things happen to you but it’s a bit like asking a bank manager why he continues to be a bank manager. It’s my life and my job and I can’t imagine any other. You know, sometimes at the end of a long tour, I think ‘Thank God I’m going home’ and if I have any length of time at home I get really kind of itchy and bad tempered and kind of look forward to the next moment when I’m hitting the road again.

Fiona:
Even people who are not deeply familiar with Irish music or Celtic music in general, will have heard of Planxty and anyone will be able to tell you of the tremendous influence the band has had on the course of this music. And when you think of the original members of Planxty — yourself Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Christy Moore, Liam O’Flynn — as well as the legacy of the band, the individuals have gone on to make quite an impression upon the music. When you listen to Irish music today, or as you’ve been listening to it evolving through this time, are you able to measure the impression that all these individuals have had on the shape and form and direction of the music?

Andy:
I’m not really able to. When I listen to modern young bands I’m always quite interested if they say in an interview ‘We were much influenced by Planxty,’ because I do sometimes hear it. But not really, maybe I just don’t listen to it. There are things, like for instance the style of bouzouki playing that Donal introduced, I think is very much copied today. And you can usually hear one of the big instrumentalists in the fiddle playing or the uilleann pipe playing, but you’d expect that. It’s the more subtle influences, if they are there, they elude me. But it was a great time and you never know, we might do something again. Certainly that era, which Planxty was a part of, re-awakened an interest in Irish music and it could be said I suppose… before that there was the ballad boom in Ireland and there were various kind of little jostlings with the tradition, and the tradition being popular. But it wasn’t quite the tradition, like Sweeney’s Men for instance, didn’t play that many traditional dance tunes. So I think Planxty and its era could be said to be the kind of part of the beginning of the re-awakening of Ireland and by extension Scotland to traditional music.

Fiona:
Now you took an early detour, on your long journey, to Eastern Europe and in particular into the musical traditions of the Balkans. And that’s something that has had a lasting impact upon your music through the years and also upon Irish music in a broader sense. What draws you to those musical traditions? It’s been a lifelong love of yours.

Andy:
Hmm… I think the rhythms were the main things. Playing music in odd time signatures is something which I still don’t get tired of, you know. My latest piece is a song put in to 5:8 and I just love those rhythms. Somebody once said of me that my natural time signature was 7:8 or 7 beats to the bar, and in order to play in 4:4, I just had to add one more, so there’s a deal of truth in that. I’m not all that happy with 4:4 or 3:4. I mean all the songs that I wrote that were essentially in 3:4, none of them maintains the 3:4 rhythm throughout. They have extra beats and drop a beat somewhere. I don’t know why, I just, maybe I have an odd sense of rhythm.

Fiona:
Yes, you could sprain your ankle dancing to some of those dance tunes. But when you brought some of these tunes into Planxty and other of the bands that you’ve worked in, it gave the music a kind of an exotic flavour and moved peoples’ expectations beyond the usual reels and jigs. And that’s been good for the music too.

Andy:
Well I think there’s an excitement to playing in these rhythms and I think people realise that. I mean, back towards the end of Planxty in, whenever it was 1981, ’82, we played this tune called Smeceno Horo which is in 9:16 basically but it has bars in 15, 16 and it was the biggest number we played. And it became logical to finish with it which we never did actually because it seemed to be kind of selling ourselves a little bit to finish with a Bulgarian tune when we were playing Irish music. But if you listen carefully to the piece of music Bill Whelan wrote which is called Riverdance, (I think it’s called Riverdance, it was the initial piece he wrote), it has bars of 11:16 in it. And people didn’t realise this, but it still excited their blood. So, I mean, I think that was very clever of him to write a piece in a normal time signature but go in to these bars of Bulgarian rhythm which were just not too much to take peoples’ eye off the ball, but enough to make them go ‘Oh yeah, wow, what’s going on here!’ When we made that album “East Wind,” Bill Whelan, Davy Spillane and myself, with other people, and it did not find its niche. It was music that people would look at. They’d pick it up and say ‘Oh, here’s one, I haven’t seen this’ and then it would say ‘Balkan Music’ and they’d go ‘Oh, Balkan Music, no, I don’t think so.’ So it didn’t sell, it was really a musicians’ album, musicians loved it and everybody else didn’t buy it. And I’m sure they didn’t buy it either! Anyway, and of course the next thing was ‘Riverdance’ which sold out everything. I mean, God that sounds awful, which sold all its stock. And it’s certain to me that ‘East Wind’ had an influence on Bill when he wrote that, which is great. I was sitting at home watching TV when Riverdance first came on the Eurovision Song Contest and I was as gob smacked as everybody else was. It was tremendous. But just the lack of sales of ‘East Wind’ and the multi-mega sales of Riverdance has always been a slightly sore point. But now I have a new band called Mozaik. Not the m-o-s-a-i-c version of 1985 but the M-o-z-a-i-k version, and it’s kind of exciting. I put the band together for a tour of Australia about a year ago and it was a huge success. We recorded a couple of gigs and we have a live album which is musically ready to go. It’s mixed and mastered and we look now for a record company which is something we all dread because we don’t have a clue, any of us, about record companies. I mean this is me, Donal Lunny, Bruce Molsky, Nikola Parov and Rens van der Zalm and between us we have a fair amount of experience of the world in general and the music world too, but record companies: not an idea. All I know about record companies is they rip you off. So I hope that we’ll be able to find a decent outfit and the album should be out in a couple of months I hope. (Mozaik’s Live from the Powerhouse since released on Compass Records.)

Fiona:
Although you’ve enjoyed and been a very important part of these collaborative efforts you are essentially a solo artist. Am I right?

Andy:
You are right in a way. Even as a solo musician in a band I learned quite early on never to go in to a band rehearsal without knowing how to play, how to accompany the song yourself so that once the band wasn’t there you could still do it. And I love playing with bands; I love the interaction with other musicians. I even play as a duo with my old mate Rens van der Zalm, which I’m going to do in America next week. But essentially you’re right. Being solo, driving through the world, that’s how I see my heavenly state.

source: www.thistleradio.com