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Bennett hits a peak TOMMY SMITH r.
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0000. Friends are DJs ' ' O...
HOLIDAY The Young Machines ".0000
He’s back. Just as we near the time for nailing the albums of the year, here’s a late entry that should force its way to the top of any self- respecting Scottish music fan’s list. Grit is a triumphant blast of defiance in adversity from one of our most influential talents, mixing . , , i H thunderous dance beats and passionate p :. :3 r storytelling, pitting Edith Piaf against Annie ' : Watkins‘ ‘l’ll No Bide Wi Ma Granny Nae Mair', ~ ' '
and delivering a Michael Marra incantation of :r '. . :r : I : ,
Psalm 118 over spine-tingling Gaelic song. .. . ~ 1 ., ; . ; Begun ‘in a studio in a cupboard’ while I _ r I. ; w 41
Bennett was In the. throes of a four-year battle JOE STRUMMER
against cancer, Grit draws deep on the traditions & THE
that have always given the musician strength — MESCALEROS but its title also represents a very personal Streetcore thrawn persistence. Many Scots know him - '- a...
through his explosive live performances, and these difficult four years have marked a transition which now finds him rejecting the role of piper or fiddler. We may have seen the last of
Martyn Bennett on stage. vA'RIOUS ISOBEL
‘The live set for the last album’ H‘imj’and’ was Dirty Vegas: Tho Trip Ainorino (Snowstorm) absolutely phenomenal; we played in front of .... ...
15,000 people at Cambridge, and it was like a whole movement starting,’ says the 32-year-old
from his home on Mull. ‘Well, I don’t feel like that MISSISSIPPI person any more. But it’s exciting to sit down _ , , Welcomes Careful with a DJ set-up, a mini-disc with a pitch shifter
Drivers and some records, and batch up some lovely ' -" things . . .’
Romantic, steeped in the voices of the past and yet urgently contemporary, Grit is a mighty comeback from a man whose role in reinvigorating Scotland’s music has been undeniable. And if this studio-based model signposts the way ahead for Bennett, it seems his influence will continue to work its magic.
‘When I was 15, hardly anyone I knew was playing traditional music,‘ he says. ‘I wanted to give it a kind of cultural equity — so that on the big screen or at the dance club, people could say, that’s my culture, and I’m not embarrassed to say it. And it gives me great satisfaction how it’s turned out. I went to Celtic Connections in January, and there were hundreds of young kids playing traditional music at a very very high standard, and you’d ask them how they got into it, and: “I really liked Bothy Culture, and my mum got me a fiddle, and that’s how I learnt.” How fantastic!’ (Ninian Dunnett)
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