Glasgow (Scotland), UK –
The Occasionals have a new recording titled
Down to the Hall. The Occasionals are widely regarded
as one of the foremost ceilidh dance bands and have been playing for dancing the
length and breadth of Europe since 1986. Accordionist Freeland Barbour initially
joined forces with fellow ex-Wallochmor Ceilidh Band drummer Gus Miller, to
“occasionally” play for dances at festivals, and when Freeland invited
banjo/mandolin player Kevin MacLeod to join that year, the basis of the current
band line-up was secured.
However, since then, many fine musicians such as
fiddlers Rebecca Hunter and Mairi Campbell, pianists Neil MacMillan and Gill
Simpson, Runrig guitarist Malcolm Jones and drummer Ally Maclntyre have
“occasionally” performed with the band. The line-up on “Down To The Hall”
comprises Freeland on accordion, midi-bass, piano, whistle, clavinet and
harpsichord; lan Hardie on fiddle and Scottish smallpipes; Kevin MacLeod on
electric tenor banjo, resonator and tenor guitars, bouzouki and mandolins; and
Gus Miller on drums.
Over the past sixteen years the band has performed at many large and prestigious events, including Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections, BBC TV’s “Talla Bhaille”, Tender Festival Denmark, Jakarta Highland Society, RSNO Viennese Balls, The Mod and a thousand other public and private functions all over Scotland and beyond.
The Occasionals have released three previous albums on Greentrax, Back in Step (CDTRAX 107); Live from the Music Hall Aberdeen (CDTRAX 184); and Reel of Four (CDTRAX 259). Both lan Hardie and Kevin MacLeod also have solo albums on Greentrax. Great dancing nights are still to be found in halls around Scotland, where enthusiastic dancers birl and swing through lively sets and here The Occasionals steer the dancers feet round the dance floor for a new selection of Scottish dances. The album consists of twenty-one tracks, with a total playing time of 72.10 minutes. The Occasionals, also celebrating their 201 Anniversary, will provide the music at the Greentrax 20th Anniversary Ceilidh in The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, on Saturday, 22nd July, 2006.