Linda Bandelier, David Campbell & Friends - Ae Fond Kiss

2012 studio album

Ae Fond Kiss - Linda Bandelier, David Campbell & Friends

the bright young folk review

Ae Fond Kiss has a touch of the drawing room soirée with its opening tune played on pipes and harp. It is a celebration of Robert Burns’ life in speech and song, in which Linda Bandelier and David Campbell mark 21 years of performing the poet’s story as a live show.

The recording is a gentle walk through Burns’ life and is introduced as “Supper with Robert Burns …. a feast for the imagination …..a rich repast of story, poetry and song” and even starting with a grace he wrote.

For those of us not brought up on Burns, there is plenty that is familiar : John Barleycorn and Auld Lang Syne being the most obvious. Combined with the less well known works, the album is an interesting insight into this cultural icon.

David Campbell and Linda Bandelier don’t just narrate Burns’ life, they occasionally take on the roles of Burns and others in his life too.

As well as the pipes of Hamish Moore and the delicate harp playing of Kate Harrigan, you will also hear Mairi Campbell on fiddle. The instruments help to illustrate the story: Daisy and a Mouse starts with a beautiful tune played on the bellow-blown pipes which then weaves in and out of the reading of the poem. A dancing fiddle tune announces the first time Burns’ experiences falling in love.

The story follows the ups and downs of Burns’ life - the birth of an illegitimate child, the death of his wife, his growing fame as a poet, his various relationships with women and drink and finally his death from rheumatic fever at the early age of 37.

While the album is well constructed, it needs to be listened to as a whole, not just dipped into. Somehow it doesn’t quite work as a music CD, and has more the feel of an audio book or a radio play.

Shelley Rainey

Releases 2012 by Birnam CD

1. Welcome
2. A Stormy Birth
3. There Was a Lad
4. The Makings
5. A Daisy and a Mouse
6. Recipe for a Poet
7. First Love
8. Westlin Winds
9. Love, Bairns and Heartbreak
10. Green Grow the Rashes
11. Edinburgh and Fame
12. The King of Puddings
13. John Barleycorn
14. The Rose and the Thorn
15. Ae Fond Kiss
16. Tam and the Devil
17. Enduring Love
18. Auld Lang Syne

Linda Bandelier, David Campbell & Friends discography

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Linda Bandelier