Easdale Island Community Hall
Orchestra Macaroon and Ribbon Road

Orchestra Macaroon and Ribbon Road

Date of Event: Sat 24 Jul 2004
Event Type: Concert
Time: 7.30pm
Ticket Pricing: FREE
McNally and Blakey of Orchestra Macaroon
From an article first published in Easdale People magazine, Issue No 20, Autumn 2004.

The evening started with Ribbon Road playing to a packed hall and creating a relaxed and thoughtful mood which suited the candlelit soiree atmosphere in the hall. The line up is two guitars and electric bass with a duet of vocals weaving a web over the instruments. Brenda Heslop's songwriting has reached a maturity which should be recognised as she tackles subjects such as love and poverty with an honesty which is refreshing and heartfelt. Once again there were few in the audience who did not feel touched by her simple yet cleverly crafted songs. The stage prescence of the three musicians was also strong with Brenda shimmering on centre stage, flnked by Geoff Heslop and Wee.

After a set of fifty minutes the stage was cleared to make room for the second act of the night, Orchestra Macaroon. This group has been put together by Colin Blakey and Phil Bull to perform a complete set of Colin's own tunes. They have pulled together nine excellent musicians from Scotland, Ireland and China who cover a vast range of instruments including Yang Qin, Clarinet and Flugelhorn. Four different breeds of bagpipes also feature heavily in almost every track and rhythms stretch from solid reggae to latin american jazz.

The stage had to be extended to accommodate the band and the feeling created by their music was one of relaxed danceability and the audience in the hall found it difficult to resist the temptation to star t moving to the music. As the event was, in part, the launch of their new CD "Breakfast in Balquidder", there were a number of invited guests in the audience including a publicist, photographer and one of Celtic Connections programmers.

I can sum up simply by saying that I hope that no-one missed the fact that ALL the music performed was original and created on Easdale Island, as it is a special thing to have such excellent talent in our community.

review: Fiona Blakey
photographs: Marc Marnie
Ribbon Road
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