I’ve seen Willie Campbell several times. The first being about a decade ago when I was a teenager and thee was great excitement that Astrid were coming to play on the Island. We never got much in the way of gigs so as a music loving kid it was vital that I went along and I enjoyed every minute of it. In recent years I’ve seen him play covers and his own songs in the local pub.
Willie Campbell has produced his first Gaelic album Dalma. There are several meanings for the word but Campbell’s favourite, and most apt, is brazen. It has been produced by Gaelic music legend Calum Malcolm and they both speak about the album before Willie takes to the stage. It’s being launched at Ceol ‘s Craic and is the first album on their own label.
First song Fir Chlis would doubtless have had many dancing a bit if it had not been a seated venue. This continues with songs like Grunnd na Mara which has a definite dance beat. Dalma has a spiritual edge to it which is acknowledged in the gig with M’anam Trom and Faig Air mo Dia. For this he is joined by Duncan MacKinnon: ‘ It kinda goes downhill from there to be honest’ says Campbell as MacKinnon leaves the stage and that is typical of the self deprecating humour that runs through the show. There is also an Americana vibe running through the show which adds something a bit different. The rocky side really comes out with Am Balach coir which Campbell says ‘we made sound like supergrass or something’. To finish there are a few English songs including Kerry can you hear me? and Chasing Dreams which he finishes with.
Despite some sound problems this was a really good which promises an even better album.