A Review of the CD
"Celtic Dreams and Dances"
by Dhalia

"Celtic Dreams and Dances"
by Dhalia

Water Violet Records -2002
http:// www.Dhalia.de

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 6/03

This album is from a German-based Celtic band. It's no surprise that this is a band that knows how to deliver: after all, they stem from "Paddy Goes to Holyhead" and "Wild Silk". And "deliver" they do. A very pleasing album of largely traditional material. And, as befits a band with personnel from Germany, Egypt, Ireland and Turkey, it is eclectic in the extreme.

Imagine consuming a kebab and a few too many steins of Weisse, Altbier or Pilsner. And then pleasantly hallucinating and seeing a leprechaun on the back of a camel! Well , that just about sums up the overall mood and effect of this album. One goes from the Scots whalers' anthem

"Bonnie Ship The Diamond", to a strangely haunting song in Arabic "Elamal", and we end with a setting of a Schiller poem to music.

En route, we pass such old favourites as "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". Now "old favourite" it may be, but it really will not do for Dhalia to claim it as "Trad". It is not! It was written in the early Seventies. I hope Eric Bogle HOUNDS them for his royalties, even though he is not short of a shilling!

And one other complaint about an otherwise very agreeable album: if there is an award for the most irritating liner notes of the DECADE, then this is a candidate. Which is sad, because they clearly spent a bit of money on trying to create a good artistic effect in this "packaging" department.

The liner "notes", in this case, are really the LYRICS, but instead of my beloved BLOCK CAPITALS, the band choose to favour the most illegible cursive script since the Pope was an altar-boy! The scribble just induced a headache in the reader.

Whoever was behind this should be shot.

But let's take nothing away from the CD itself. Good vocals, good musicianship, fair-to-good material: this for me represents a review copy that will stay in my CD collection, and won't find its way to the local charity shop.

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