Trembling Bells: The Constant Pageant (Fuse/Border)

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Trembling Bells: All My Favourite Mistakes
Trembling Bells: The Constant Pageant (Fuse/Border)

This Glasgow quartet fronted by the powerful folk-vocals of Lavinia Blackwall have previously delivered folkadelia but right from the ringing guitars of this, their third album, they have moved more firmly into the psychedelic rock area where Celtic hippies roam wind-swept moors and have anthemic Jefferson Airplane and Fairport Convention turned up to 11 on their ghetto blasters.

New guitarist Mike Hastings brings some penetratingly sharp fuzz to his solos (All My Favourite Mistakes could have dropped off the first Moby Grape album) and in places – the heroic Colour of Night with horns, the ale-house revelry of Cold Heart of Mine – this has some of the chest-swelling that bagpipes and a wee dram can induce.

The first half is an almost breathless rush of strident, folk-flavoured rock (“these are revolutionary times” wails Blackwall like Maddy Prior channeling Grace Slick on the fist-pumping Where Do I Go From You?) but after the thrilling clatter of Otley Rock Oracle (Steeleye Span-meets-the Doors and a mad jazz band) things rest up a little.

Goathland is a stately ballad with trumpet, To See You Again is almost Fifties pop and Torn Between Loves is musically minimal folk-rock (but rather dire).

This should come with a health warning and by being so musically busy will not be to many people's taste. But you can't turn away. If you do they might clock you.

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