Graham Reid | | <1 min read
The trio at the core of Pacific Curls made two "interesting" albums, but "interesting" is a word which suspends judgment. They didn't win me much, but most of this one certainly does and I'm starting to think that maybe only now I "get" what they are doing.
With the departure of Kaui, the remaining duo (Ora Barlow and Kim Halliday who are on the Pacific Voyage album) have linked up with Sarah Beattie, a Scottish fiddler, and their global vision now takes on a Polynesian-Celtic aspect.
So here are ukulele-driven Pasifika songs cut across by an almost sea shanty-style (or melancholy) fiddle . . . and a fine sense of humour. No one would ever suggest a direct pre-history link between the music of Fiji and that of the Celtic world, but here the two come together in an unforced way and you can find yourself grooving to a swaying palm tree one minute then tapping your foot to a very familiar reel the next. (Well, all reels are same so of course they are familiar: heard one heard 'em all in my book).
There are also some quietly intense pieces here (the opening of Marnie Swansan with Jews Cruise which blends a traditional tune with an original) and places which approach strident contemporary classical music.
But it will probably be lively pieces such as Fiji Time which have the most appeal.
Nice one. I "get" it.