|Gaelic Storm: Bring Yer Wellies
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-11-18 13:43:45
Most American English speakers aren't familiar with the term - but 'wellies' is the slang abbreviation for Wellington boots, named for the duke who beat Napoleon. They're the rubberized (usually) thigh-high boots you'd wear while fly fishing in a chilly Irish stream.
Not that wellies have much to do with this music - other than "Kelly's Wellies". Like the rest of the record, that song will remind you of the Irish ditties you heard the last time you celebrated St. Paddy's day in a downtown pub - when you probably heard music just like this. But it wouldn't have been as well played.
Gaelic Storm plays old-style Irish folk tunes, mostly upbeat and jovial, always energetic, and with an inviting a sing-along atmosphere. They're in the authentic style of classic Gaelic folk songs, yet these are all original pieces - and they're all very rhythmic, played on fiddles, pipes and acoustic guitars, and featuring big multi-part choruses that will soon have you tapping a toe, or maybe singing along - and probably planning your next Irish pub visit.
The lyrics tend to be steeped in the Irish idiomatic form of the language, probably making them hard for non-Brits to understand - but anyone can enjoy the joviality, the atmosphere, and the four all-instrumental pieces - especially the bagpipe-led "Bare in the Basin". "Never Drink 'Em Dry (Johnny Tarr's Funeral)" is an amusing piece in an ongoing storyline, and "The Devil Down Below" is an energetic sea shanty in which sailors challenge the perils of the ocean.
Bring Yer Wellies is a far cry from the progressive or metal music we usually review in the Sea Of Tranquility, yet it's a safe bet that most prog fans will have the enough dexterity in their musical tastes to enjoy Bring Yer Wellies.