Monthly news summary of all the happenings and up and coming events in the Scottish Traditional Music scene.
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The second album from Keep It Up may have been a long time coming but, it has definately been worth the wait! As one would expect from musicians of such high calibre, their performance is sublime while the arrangements of the material is both skilful and full of heart. Keep It Up have always shown that they possess the ability to become one of Scotland's 'great' bands; but other committments - Eilidh Shaw is a member of (amongst others) The Poozies, Harem Scarem, Drop the Box; Malcolm Stitt is in Boys of the Lough and Deaf Shepherd; Kevin MacKenzie is in Sun Honey and The Finlay MacDonald Band as well as fronting is own jazz outfit while Simon Thoumire runs Foot Stompin' Records and Hands Up For Trad as well as playing in a duo with pianist David Milligan - have meant that they make only occasional forays into the public arena. All the more reason to enjoy them when you can, even if it has to be on CD!
‘Keep it Up play with a verve, style and lightness of touch that few can achieve…..Folk Roots.'
Keep it Up are:
Simon Thoumire: concertina
Eilidh Shaw: fiddle & vocals
Malcolm Stitt: bouzoukie
Kevin MacKenzie: guitar
|Title:||..This one's likely to be in my top five of the year|
|Review:||Simon, the new CD is really fab. A bit more uptempo than the first one. Some great tunes and arrangements. The guitar & bouzouki create a nice wall of sound for the fiddle and concertina to play off of. It's nicely recorded and the cover is great. This one's likely to be in my top five of the year. Thanks for the music.|
|Title:||Very impressive stuff.|
|Source:||Lockerbie Bob: FSCM Forum|
|Review:||Actually currently wearing out my CD player is the new Keep It Up CD. Fantastic. Will be having an evening attempting some of the tunes soon. Simon- are your fingers not knacked yet? Very impressive stuff. And Eilidh is one of my favourite fiddlers. What a woman.........|
|Title:||.. full of renewed vigour and harmonic invention..|
|Source:||The Herald..Rob Adams|
|Review:||Six years on. Keep It Up finally deliver a second album. Much has happened between times - these are four of the busiest and most accomplished musicians on the Scottish scene, and concertinist Simon Thoumire's development into Scottish traditional music's Mr Ideas-in-Action, has doubtless restricted his playing time.
The lull between recordings has done no harm though, far from it. The quartet emerges as a markedly more mature, altogether more substantial unit, full of renewed vigour and harmonic invention; and on the waltzes, slow airs and Eilidh Shaw's suitably sleepy lullaby/lament Griogal Chridhe, shows due care and sensitivity. Thoumire's understanding with Shaw's fiddling at times recalls the apparently synchronised reckless abandon of Nomos's Liz Doherty and Niall Vallely, although the accent here is emphatically Scottish.
|Title:||they’re one of the most gifted, imaginative and exciting traditional outfits on the scene today.|
|Source:||Sue Wilson...Sunday Herald|
|Review:||Live sightings of the Edinburgh-based four-piece Keep It Up have been rare since their formation five or six years ago. It’s small wonder, given how busy the diaries of Simon Thoumire (concertina), Eilidh Shaw (fiddle/vocals), Kevin Mackenzie (guitar) and Malcolm Stitt (bouzouki) are with other projects, but it’s also a damn shame, as they’re one of the most gifted, imaginative and exciting traditional outfits on the scene today. For now, though, frustrated fans will just have to make do with their second album – and it does provide ample compensation, while making you hanker even more to hear them in concert. Their ability to generate and capture that in-the-moment, session-style energy on record give On Safari immediate and heady impact – but the thrill is underpinned by the teeming density of variation, ornamentation, and harmonic jousting going on within the tunes.|
|Title:||Keep It Up haven’t exactly rushed to get their second disc out, but it is well worth the wait.|
|Source:||Kenny Mathieson: The Scotsman|
|Review:||Keep It Up haven’t exactly rushed to get their second disc out, but it proves to be worth the long wait. The band tear into a commendably diverse selection of traditional and contemporary material in their characteristically energised style. Fiddler Eildih Shaw and concertina player Simon Thoumire carry the melodies in expressive fashion, underpinned by the powerful rhythmic drive of Malcolm Stitt’s bouzouki and Kevin MacKenzie’s guitar. With one exception, the sets are all named after individuals, and range widely in their constituent tunes, taking in respectful nods to Jimmy Shand and Bobby MacLeod along the way.|
|Title:||In my dreams, excellent Celtic bands like Keep It Up tour the world constantly, making lots of us happy in the process!|
|Source:||The Living Tradition..Debbie Koritsas|
|Review:||Four of Scotland's finest acoustic musicians follow up their 1998 debut with a cracking album that's guaranteed to get you wanting to dance! Musical empathy sparkles in this recording; particularly between fiddler Eilidh Shaw and concertina player Simon Thoumire - their intense lyricism dominates these 11 tracks. Malcolm Stitt ((Nusa/Boys Of The Lough) and Kevin MacKenzie (Sunhoney) create taut background rhythm - their deft picking lends the finest structure to these tunes.
The music is from Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton, and spans the best part of 3 centuries. Thoumire seems to have a canny knack for tracking down a good tune, and includes examples here from Cape Breton transcriptions of Gaelic pipe music. This collection also revives some beautiful waltzes from Bobby MacLeod's music of the 1950's (in the aptly named 'Bobby'), and a very fine tune by Jimmy Shand, 'The Dundee City Police Pipe Band'. Eilidh Shaw's originals continue to impress ('The Grappa Groove'/'Drathairs na Theine'), and she brings some fabulous tunes learned from her dad to this album, exactly as she does in her fine work with the Poozies. She lends the most soporific of vocals to a fine lament called 'Gregor', and a laid back 'puirt' vocal to 'Arthur'. I managed to see one of Shaw's Poozies gigs last year, and her fabulous control of tone and texture on fiddle struck me then just as it does now.
This music is vibrant, exciting, rhythmic, and full of humorous touches. Thoumire's fiendishly dextrous concertina solo on 'Hector' epitomises his hallmark sound. The 'Pants' set showcases Keep It Up's sound perfectly - Shaw and Thoumire's musicality storms in on 'Drathairs na Theine' and 'Oran an Teine'; it's underpinned by Stitt and MacKenzie's magnificent rhythm-making, and it's all topped off by the superbly rousing 'Dan Breen's Reel'. The excellent artwork on the album cover hints at the delights within, with a humorous, colourful detail from Estonian artist Navitrolla's often-surreal work - it depicts an impossibly long-necked giraffe 'keeping it up' (his neck, that is) through the fluffiest of clouds.
In my dreams, excellent Celtic bands like Keep It Up tour the world constantly, making lots of us happy in the process!
|Title:||A tremendous album – unarguably acoustic music at its very best|
|Source:||Bob Walton - fRoots|
|Review:||Second album from Keep It Up and they certainly have. Playing everything from their own tunes to Jimmy Shand’s via Gaelic laments, concertina virtuoso and composer Simon Thoumire and fiddler Eilidh Shaw take the melody lines (Shaw also sings) while jazzer Kevin MacKenzie’s guitar and Malcolm Stitt’s bouzoukie provide the back line. It’s mainly high energy stuff, crisp, bright and downright exciting – the interplay between the musicians is at times astonishing and astonishingly tight, and the arrangements rhythmically inventive. A tremendous album – unarguably acoustic music at its very best. Long may they continue to live up to their name!Bob Walton…fRoots …Jan/Feb 2005|
|Title:||this recording is an exemplar of contemporary Scottish traditional music.|
|Review:||"Keep It Up is a lilting, beautiful Scottish trad quartet whose members include Simon Thoumire, contemporary master of the English concertina, and Eilidh Shaw (the Poozies) on fiddle. Concertina and fiddle serve as the group's melodic core, and the interplay between these instruments is very fun. The guitar's jazzy chord progressions provide rock-solid backing throughout. The arrangements are wonderful; less is often more. Seems like the party's over before it's had a chance to get started, but that's only because this recording is an exemplar of contemporary Scottish traditional music. This is one recording worth seeking out".....LDP.
|Title:||The best music ever|
|Review:||I heard this in my brother's car and was so taken with it i made him burn me a copy. I never knew folk music could be this exciting. I love it|
|Deliver to:||United Kingdom|