CD Review – R2 Magazine

Barrule
****
Wardfell Records

The Isle of Man may be the last untapped treasure-house of traditional music in the British Isles. Untapped until now, that is, for here are Barrule to change all that. That there aren’t other Manx bands but they’ve kept themselves a secret.

Barrule are Jamie Smith and Adam Rhodes of Mabon together with Mabon associate and native Manxman, Tom├ís Callister, and the bulk of the music on their debut album is traditional Manx. What does it sound like? Well, imagine that the Scots and English hadn’t spent centuries beating the crap out of each other and instead had sat down for a few sessions. It sounds like that. The language, to judge from the vocals, is like Scots gaelic with bits of Welsh and there are elements of Irish in both words and music to spice up the mix.

Two of the songs are by Manx nationalist Gregory Joughin; ‘Langness’ suggests that there are Donald Trumps everywhere and that he doesn’t like them. There are some mighty tunes and a standout traditional song, ‘She Lhong Honnick Mee’, while the chaps allow themselves to have some fun with ‘Europop Vona’ and indulge in a big finish with ‘Irree Ny Greiney’.

Dai Jeffries