A Review of the CD
"Kick Out The Ghosts"
by Pipedreams

"Kick Out The Ghosts"
by Pipedreams

Copyright: Offbeat Records 2005.
(Offbeat Records: OS010CD)

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 12/05

Pipedreams are a band that has really made their mark in recent years as a LIVE PERFORMANCE band par excellence. Alas, I have not had the good fortune to see them, so this CD is the next best thing.

This album is not for those pipe band purists who spend their lives attending piping festivals and who would come out in a rash at the prospect of their beloved bagpipes becoming a funky instrument and indulging in a musical form of sexual congress with electric violin, bass guitar and drums with inventive samples thrown in.

But those of you with open minds and open ears, might well find this a pleasant surprise. It is extraordinarily creative stuff.

Sure there are times when I wonder if Jim McRae and his team are creating HAVOC, but put that down to my head being in the wrong place perhaps! This music is somewhat more challenging than most of the stuff I hear, so you need to make allowances for this humble critic.

And come to think of it, my hunch is that Jim would rather WARM to my “creating havoc” remark: they strike me as an honest band, and what they are looking for is an HONEST response, not some critic going through the motions.

And if I misunderstand their music on occasions, so what? Remember Igor Stravinsky's superlative “Rite of Spring” was roundly booed at its premiere!

But I mustn't sell myself TOO short here. Most of the album is very listenable indeed. Much of the content is highly melodic and designed to have you out of your chair and on to your feet.

I note that Jim's pipes have a new form of chanter to increase the notes and improve the tuning. So they are not standard Highland pipes any more: he wisely calls them his “Big pipes”, so as not to put those purists' noses out of joint!

But the “proof of the pudding” in this case, is of course in the SOUND.

And exciting and adventurous it triumphantly is.

Recommended to those pipe band fans who can think outside the square.

Obtainable by mail-order worldwide. Enquire at this website:


Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England

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