How Slainte Mhath Got Their Groove Back
A Live Review @ The Marquee - Halifax, NS - June 5TH 1999
By Boost Ventilator
Slainte Mhath quickly turned up the heat to Gas Mark 4 and sent a wave of energy throughout the audience. This was one of the biggest crowds I had seen at the Marquee, and they all seemed to be there for the right reasons. The dance floor was made up of a slew of Cape Bretoners, Newfoundlanders, Haligonians, and folks from 'Away'. You could see and hear dancers, jumpers, gazers, and inevitably drinkers responding and reacting to the music...and sometimes it was in time! It this kind of mix and keeps the band working hard to out perform the masses.
They played a handful of cuts from their debut CD, including "Jenga Stick" and "Big Jigs." "Bruce and the Troopers" made an appearance as well as the makings of their next release "Music For a Kilted Generation." Some new numbers included a intrique go of Irish tunes on the electric guitar by Boyd MacNeil, a fun Celtic romp through Tequila, and a 'remix' of the hidden track on the Prophecy album complete with a disco swing.
The band has the perfect mix of ceilidh 'fun' and a nod to the celtic 'cannon'. They can breathe new life into much older tunes and leave them sounding as fresh and as before. It is a mix of both the old and the new that equals original.
Both melodies and beats collided from the first blast of Bruce MacPhee's pipes to Ryan MacNeil's relentless attack on the piano. Lisa Gallant took care of the fiddle, bodhran, and dancing (with a little impromptu help from Lucy MacNeil) while Boyd MacNeil played everything else, from octave mandolin to sewer pipe. The edition of Brian Talbot on drums and percussion has added a dimension of both groove and rhythm that the band has always hinted at in the past. Now to the future....
If you ever get the chance, do yourself a favour and check them out in person: Upcoming Slainte Mahth Gigs