* Prices may differ from that shown
Over the last 6 years I've been a regular visitor to London Irish to watch the Rugby. For the first 4 years or so that I was going they had a house band going by the name of Le Cheile. All the while they were playing gigs at London Irish they were also touring London under their other name, Slainte, which has now changed to The BibleCode Sundays. Still touring the London scene they have over the years picked up quite a following and 2006 seen them release their debut album of original material to accompany the live shows.
The band are really a mixture of two different musical scenes and it's the mixture of styles that seems to be expanding the bands fan base. They are following the Pogues in blending traditional Irish Folk music, with more popular and traditional Rock music. Through the music you can clearly see the mixture of influences from The Pogues and the Dubliners to the more traditional rock sounds of Oasis and The Beatles. The end result is an album of tracks that stay true to the Irish sound and open it to a much wider audience.
Having grown up in London the 6 piece were heavily influenced by the Irish Community and that really shows through in the music. The combination of guitars, flutes, fiddle and accordion are all kept in line by a very lively drum beat. The flute really compliments the guitars and throughout the album each instrument takes it in turns to lead the tempo and direction of the track. The overall sound of the album is quite lively, mixing the two different genres incredibly well.
Of course while it is musically a good album it would have all been lost without a good lead singer and Ronan MacManus certainly fits that bill. He is the brother of Declan MacManus, better known as Elvis Costello and that was certainly a good starting point. His vocals really suit the pace of the bands music and having heard them live as well the album really does capture his vocals well. It's not over produced and that I feel really helps to retain a sense of the bands live show on the album.
The album is an amalgamation of all the band members part written songs and lyrics, that they've finished off and recorded. The resulting album is certainly very impressive and is certainly an album that has enhanced the bands reputation. In particular there are a couple of tracks that really stand out from the rest of the album. I would say the first of these being "Mary of the Northolt Road", an up-tempo track about the dangers of drinking and where it can lead. From the opening bars Ronan's vocals give it a sense of an easy going but enjoyable track. The flute really stands out throughout, combining well with the guitars to create a foot tapping melody on a very catchy track.
It's fair to say that from my own point of view at least there are no weaker tracks on this album. From the very beginning it is a very well put together collection of tracks. Having previously heard the band doing covers previously it was quite an easy transition into hearing their own material and I think Ghosts of Our Past will be the first in a number of albums for The BibleCode Sundays. Other highlights on the album include the title track "Ghosts Of Our Past" and "Dockside Lullabies", which both follow along the same principles I've already described.
Overall it is a very catchy album that you can't help but sing along with. The song structure is by and large designed for the audience and really encourages you to sing, tap or generally dance along depending on the mood and the situation. Over the years one thing I've certainly found about the band is just how well their music accompanies drinking, like any good Irish band should. If you like the Pogues, the Saw Doctors or Irish music in general then I can certainly recommend giving The BibleCode Sundays a try.
The album is available in CD or download from:
Myspace site: http://www.myspace.com/biblecodesundays