The Occasionals,
The Full Set
(Greentrax, 2008)

Here we have Scotland and Scottish dance culture neatly packaged in a two-disc set.

This 16-track CD by the Occasionals provides the music to let you have a real Scottish hooley any time you wish. Coupled with this, you get a DVD that offers instruction on how you can perform the dances plus an hour-long documentary on the excellent band. Here you also get beautiful music professionally played that allows you to dance "The Gay Gordons," the military two-step or a Canadian barn dance. The tunes include "Lake Louise," "Wild Colonial Boy" and "Old Victoria," among many others.

As usual, The Occasionals perform the music as only those with a real love of the tunes can manage. The enthusiasm is infectious and even the most couch-ridden potato will at the very least tap his toes and, who knows, maybe looking at the DVD will inspire someone to rise off the couch and start to dance.

The beautifully produced insert booklet reinforces the art of learning the dances with words and pictures. It also gives some basic background information on the tunes and dances.

Seldom has a CD been so accurately titled in a number of ways. This is the full dance set for an evening, but it is also the complete set required to learn the dances and, if you are just too lazy to dance, you can sit back and enjoy as others perform them.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

28 February 2009

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