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Blazin’ Fiddles At O2 ABC 30/1/16

Having seen Blazin Fiddles a few times before I never thought they could surpass previous performances – I was wrong!! Bruce MacGregor on announcing the band said “Blazin Fiddles play music fast, then they play faster and anything else is monumental – He was not wrong!!

This gig was quite extraordinary. If you came to this concert expecting a nice sedate evening you were in the wrong venue as this was far from sedate. Having reviewed their gigs a few times before I thought I had used all the superlatives possible to describe their performances however this time this wonderful group exceeded everything that had gone before. The energy they exuded was quite phenomenal as they belted out hits such as Shetland Night, Arran Ceilidh, Gamekeepers Cottage and The Lads Like Beer. On this night the Lads and Lasses loved what they were hearing. Normally in a seated auditorium where they were restrained in showing their enjoyment, this capacity standing audience were not shy in showing their appreciation and urged the band onto an even greater performance.

From heart rendering slow airs to pulsating sets like The Cambridge Caravan Catastrophe each was played with impeccable musicianship with each band member showing incredible respect for each other. There are no prima donnas in this band, they are all superb musicians and work together as a team. Who else can use a broken fiddle string to their advantage? Some people would stall at that point but not the “Blazers”. When Rua MacMillan broke a string on his fiddle he calmly put it down and picked up another fiddle whilst Anna Massie used the opportunity to whip the audience into an even bigger frenzy. They didn’t even let the noise of people at the rear of the venue talking away during quieter sets put them off their stride. This was professionalism of the very highest level.

You knew you were in for a pulsating final fifteen minutes or so when Bruce removed his trademark waistcoat. It was more than pulsating it was breathtaking!

The current line-up of Bruce MacGregor, Jenna Reid, Kristan Harvey and Rua MacMillan all on fiddles, Anna Massie on guitar and fiddle and Angus Lyon on piano released their first album together, North, a couple of months ago. Many of the tracks on the album were played at this gig and I would not be surprised if the sales of the album have rocketed since then.

This was quite simply a memorable night which will take a lot to better.


Danny Matheson


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