It’s quite frankly eye watering, the speed at which they play some of the pieces, … very, very impressive playing … I can see them ripping the stage apart as the final act when everyone wants to throw themselves around to an amazing band.
Superb new instrumental quintet … visceral live performances … beautiful laments that should keep them off the extinction list … cinematically effective – you can all but see in your mind’s eye an unrolling scroll of epic widescreen imagery … Grainger’s accordion with Summerhayes’s fiddle are especially beautiful.
Wild and wacky, tearing down musical barriers and prepared to go off on flights of fancy … Byrne’s stunning percussion is a highlight throughout … it’s good to hear tunes from the rare dodo oeuvre on a remarkable album.
The Morning Star
(Extinct Records/Nimbus Alliance)
THIS bunch of dodos is alive and doing fine. Do not be distracted by their hats — their madness is medicated with jaw-dropping instrumental skills.
Adam Summerhayes (violin and composition), Malcolm Creese (bass), Murray Grainger (accordion), Cormac Byrne (bodhran and percussion) and Piers Adams (recorder) have been round the musical block more times than they care to admit.
But it is this experience and unsurpassed individual virtuosity that makes Natural Selection nothing short of phenomenal.
From the delicate pianissimos of St Kilda through the wondrous melancholy of Dodo’s and Neil Gow’s Laments to the soaring scapes of Larking, Flight of the Dodo or Cock at Sunrise, the musical precision and discipline are breathtaking as themes are moved masterfully between instruments.
Klezmer, tango, Gypsy and Celtic echoes linger almost imperceptibly in these ear-worms. Hats off to the Dodo’s collective genius.
And the gig? Sometimes you’re just glad you ignored the tiredness because you’ve been to see something unique. This was one of them. The band live are stunning … what we saw that evening was the band members bringing to exuberant life the skills on the album….plus a bit. The skill of Adam Summerhayes’ fiddle playing being not only in the fingers moving fluidly, but in the way he manages – just – not to poke his colleagues eyes with the dancing bow; as well as bodhran, Cormac Byrne played spoons, bones and members of the audience – anything that could make a percussive sound…
First rate musical virtuosity … adrenaline fuelled bodhran… soaring fiddle work.
Filled with passages of jaw-dropping instrumental brilliance, created by five musicians acknowledged, world-wide, as masters of their respective instruments … throughout the album, it’s their absolute mastery of the instruments that shines through. While the virtuosity on display is breath-taking, it is the way that musical expertise is combined with a streak of anarchic fun that makes the album so entertaining … just listen to music that is both imaginative and rewarding and ponder how much fun these five musical geniuses must have had when making it.
There is only way you can get a feel for how gloriously skilled, inventive and fun this album is – listen to it or see them live … a stunning sound … the sheer energy of the playing, the tightness of it at a million miles an hour…