One of Scotland’s most popular progressive folk acts as the 21st century dawned, Croft No. Five introduced a swathe of then-upstart talents, forging a highly influential fusion of trad, funk, world and EDM elements. Two decades after they formed, John and Misha Somerville, Barry Reid, Somhairle Macdonald, Paul Jennings, Adam Sutherland, Duncan Lyall and Innes Watson revisit their headily precocious youth, now with 20 years’ seasoning behind them.
Victors in TradFest 2017’s inaugural Battle of the Folk Bands, Dosca combine experience in jazz, funk, blues, pipe bands and electronica as well as Glasgow’s folk scene, brilliantly mixing it up on bagpipes, flute, guitar, bass and drums.
Dosca an Croft No Five
Jist afore Yule, FaceBuik an Twitter were gaun daft gin the news cam oot thit the muckle 2000’s funky folk rockers Croft No Five wir comin thegither again fir a gig at Celtic Connections.
Weel, whit a nicht it turnit oot tae be!
First tae tak the stage at the St Luke’s venue, an launchin thir new CD ‘Meridian,’ wir Dosca, a rare band fu o energy wi a grand mix o jigs, reels an bonnie sangs tae keep yer feet tappin an yer hert soarin. A wis fair delichtit thae includit ma ain faivorit sang Arthur McBride. Sae lovely! Ye ken the future o Scotland’s ain music is in guid haunds gin ye hear sic accomplisht musicians. Thir set wis thochtfu, an sae weel duin its nae surprise thae won “Battle o the Folk Bands” in 2017.
An then it wis the turn o the Croft No 5. Ye cuid feel the weicht o expictaition in the waitin crood, an thae wirnae tae be disapointit. Whit a nicht this band gied us. Thae hid brocht in Gary Ebdy tae dae the lichtin so the show wis tae’n up a notch richt awa. An it wis jist the richt size o place fir the gig anaw – lik a club, it suitit the band fine. A felt a wis in a disco! Croft rockit the stage fae the verra stairt playin ain claussic set efter anither, the crood an the band thirsels lovin iviry meenit o it. It wis as if thid ne’er been awa! They wir sae in tune wir thae ain wi anither it remindit me o an epic Shooglenifty gig at Shetland Folk Festival in the nineties in the basemint o the Islesburgh Centre!
Sae mony highlichts fae stairt tae feenish – Misha Somerville loupin atop a spikker tae play a smashin solo…his brither John alang wi Innes Watson dressit up lik the twa phone laddies fae 118118. The crood jist lovit when John Somerville said “Reform an thae wull come”.
It wid be a grand thing if Croft No Five wir tae keepit oan playin. Thae wid conquer the universe wi energy alane, nivir mind a fantastic brand o warld an Scottish music an thir ain unique compositions! A hope thae dae it. Thae shurely cuid.