Such a Lovely Day
Love Is A strange Thing
She’s Got No Heart
Love And Freedom
Seven albums in and there’s still no predicting what New Celeste will conjure next. You could quite easily be forgiven if you follow the inevitable Celtic rock label so often hung round their neck by the unthinking or the even more confused, generic folk rock. All of which hint at but could never define a band that’s defied expectation time and time again across more years than it’s healthy to recall. New album A Perfect Sky is an impeccable addition to a line of carefully crafted and considered releases.
Brought to life in studios from London to Skye via London, Oxford and Canada, then impeccably mixed by Bob Prowse the core intentions strategically pieced together to create an acoustic centred, electrically driven collection which is intrinsically rooted. A Perfect Sky superbly displays the creative credentials of New Celeste, which with the opening Such A Lovely Day, bounces along agreeable acoustic pop in every second. Seven Seas is a flamenco drenched ode to lost love, whereas Love & Freedom displays the band’s love of traditional themes with a typically clipped Fergus vocal and a lilting hook line which both historically and stylistically speaks of no other place than Caledonia. Love Is a Strange Thing has a summery vibe, an observation on casual and fickle affairs of the heart, the fiddle soaring high on a feathery breeze. Instrumentally New Celeste exhibit equal flair and understanding Petite Quimperoise has classical inclinations with a jazz undercurrent, The Sunshower is a rolling chase between fiddle and acoustic guitar, Jig Celeste a freewheeling, whirling dervish leads handily into Sorry a vox drenched, Beatlesque construction in which twin guitars duel and twist around each other over a jumble of ponderable romantic questions.
With a steadfast frontline of founder Iain Fergus on vocals and guitar, lead guitarist Steve Reid, fiddler Gavin Marwick, bass player Jerry Soffe with drummer Max Saidi, the range of inspiration and influence is as wide as the horizon to horizon landscapes of their Scottish homeland. There’s even room for reunions, former associates Graeme Duffin (Wet, Wet, Wet,) and Rod Dorothy (Barbara Thompson,) add deft touches on guitar and violin respectively.
Iain sums it all up, “My songs take a long time to write themselves. I’m never trying to shock or surprise, to me it’s all about interest. The album took nearly a year to complete, with various ex members of the band adding important bits and pieces and some fantastic guest musicians too. Steve and Gavin wrote three great tracks for the CD and Bob Prowse played a big part, he’s a wonderful engineer.”
Look upwards, not a cloud in sight, a perfect sky, venture forth without delay.