We came to see The Old Dance School but they turned out to be The Fair Rain!
The same seven member band and the same great music just a different name. As they said, they were fed up with being asked; “Are you a school?”, “Where are the dancers?”, “But you’re not old!”, After seven years, the band has evolved far beyond their early beginnings of playing traditional music for ceilidhs and sessions and are bringing out a new album, to which we were given a preview in this concert.
So how do you classify The Fair Rain? What genre do they fit into? That’s not an easy question to answer: Folk? Jazz? Orchestral? Cinematic? Yes, all of those and more. What you can say is that they are all consummate, professional, versatile musicians with a very relaxed style, very easy to listen to.
The evening began with what sounded like an orchestra quietly tuning up their instruments but this very slowly morphed into a sea-side wave sound and slowly increased in volume with more beat and rhythm into an orchestral piece, then faded away with lots of violins. A piece of music too new to have a name yet! But brilliant nevertheless.
The composition of the band is wonderful, with recorder, whistles and woodwind giving atmosphere and a trumpet picking out highlights giving character to the underlying violin, viola, double-base and guitar and occasional accordion with drums giving rhythm to the music. The Fair Rain produce a very full sound over the whole acoustic spectrum highlighted with occasional vocals.
This was the first time they had played in public some of the new songs off their forthcoming album, “Behind The Glass”, so we had “Dream of White Horses”, rhythmic, upbeat, Celtic style, “Banks of the Tahiti” a vocal with the lead moving among different instruments in the band and “The Hollow” where the trumpet gave it a bluesy style. Lots of varied music resulting in a very entertaining evening for our audience.
This is a very musical, creative band, well worth seeing again.