Spreefix 001
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The name of this Shetlands-based band is quite a mouthful, but it fits. The Spelemannslag part of the name is Norwegian and refers to a group of musicians dominated by fiddlers that plays traditional music. Given that six of the band’s members wield fiddles and that the vast majority of the repertoire is pulled from the public domain, that moniker is apt. And so is the Fullsceilidh part—with ten musicians strutting their wares, the sound is certainly “full” and robust. Add the fact that this all-instrumental album is aimed at dancers and they’ve got the “celilidh” (pronounced kay’-lee; Scots Gaelic for “dance party”) part covered as well. Shetland is as far north as a Scot can go before hitting Norway; hence the music feels like something brewed in the middle of the North Sea. It also reminds quite a bit of the Shetland-based Fiddlers’ Bid, understandable given that Maurice Henderson is a member of both lineups. Fullsceilidh delights for many reasons, one of which is its lack of pretense. “Plan B,” for instance, is a flying fiddles set with a touch of Gothic whimsy added. Like most of the tracks, it avoids subtlety and sets a furious dance tempo. Most of the tracks are similarly fast-paced with a good-time party feel. We could almost believe that the lads (and one lass, Lois Nicol) were just out for a lark, except they’re way too good. Don’t forget to listen as you kick up your heels; this is an enormously talented lineup.

Watch this YouTube clip in which they tease and then set the dancers afire at the 2009 Shetland Folk Festival, if you can sit still!

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