With so many new folk bands appearing it is very exciting to see new work coming from long standing bands too. Allan Yn Y Fan are nearing a decade of hard work and musical exploration since their first album.
The Celtic music tradition has such a foundation all over Britain and it is great to see the varieties, no matter how subtle, from each country. Cool, Calm and Collected does a great job of being a blast of pure Celtic awesomeness as well as capturing that essential Welsh spirit separate from Irish or Scottish styles.
Most of the tracks project fond images of typical pub sessions such as Morgan Rhatlar/Lacken House or Tipsy Butterfly (which is a fantastic name), filling you full of vibrant energy and making you want to grab an ale and start dancing.
This album is a collection, so it revisits the songs and tunes that the band have loved and played over the years and clearly a lot of thought have been put into which songs get included.
As well as the great dance tunes we also get beautiful songs that remind us that the Welsh language has great exquisiteness, especially when sung with such grace as in Lisa Lân and Mil Harddach Wyt, then the pure passion and joy = in parts of Canu Cwnsela/Pwnco. This latter tune also gives us a good mix of great male and female vocals.
As well as fast paced dance tunes, there are slower, more gentle tunes such as Trosnant and Roscrea Triangle/Air Miles On The Irish Ferry that settle down and calm you whilst painting soothing images in your mind with the recorder and gentle string plucking.
It’s great to see Allan Yn Y Fan still going strong, and let’s hope for more soon!Paul Rawcliffe
Released by Steam Pie March 2014
1. Brenines Y Brecwast; Tywysog Y Brecwast
2. Beth yw’r haf i mi; Jizaique; Ms. Gina Morgan
3. Tipsy Butterfly
4. Morgan Rhatlar; Lacken House
5. Lisa Lân
6. Rathawaun; Clare Jig
7. Canu Cwnsela; Pwnco
9. Mil Harddach Wyt
10. Roscrea Triangle; Air Miles On The Irish Ferry
11. Girl On A Rock
12. Albanian Quickstep
13. Tra Bo Dau