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Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF
Band World Celtic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Eye of the Storm- MP3 Mag review"

I was intrigued right of the bat with this CD and loved it all the way through. If you are a fan of Scottish music this is an investment you'll want to make--unless you are a die-hard traditionalist. You'll not get that here. The music has great energy, but isn't your typical fare either. The pipes are top notch and the outstanding thump of the drums in combination with unusual vocals and vocal sounds make it a feast for the ears. Energy, energy, energy!

The name Albannach is Scots-Gaelic for "Scotsman" or "Scottish" and this band is indeed proud of their heritage. This fact is reflected in everything they do. Track 4 is a bit of a surprise--a woman's clear voice calls forth the lyrics to "Scotland Is Her Name" with stunning skill and beauty. Many of the tracks on the album have a real "other worldly" quality to them; almost dreamlike. This is music that would do well as the soundtrack for a really cool movie since it manages to put you in a particular state of being just by listening to it. There seem to be some heavy rock influences to some of the tracks, yet they manage to avoid sounding like rock somehow. Dang difficult to describe well I must say, but likeable nonetheless.

There is something polished about this band, and they have a very solid sound too. The drums and pipes hammer almost all the way through and it really makes for a tremendous CD. Sometimes dreamy, sometimes powerful--this 12-track effort is well worth a listen and Albannach can confidently take a place at the head of the class.

Catherine L. Tully is a freelance writer and photographer who specializes in the arts. She has written for American Style and Classical Singer, among other magazines, and reviews music for Marc Gunn's Celtic MP3s Music Magazine. You can reach her through her website at - Mark Gunn/Catherine Tully

"Performance review"

If Jamesie Johnston's heard it once, he's heard it a thousand times -- a fan who thinks he's being clever, shouting the signature line from Mel Gibson's Scottish epic "Braveheart":


For whatever reason, it's difficult for most fans of the swashbuckling tale of Scottish legend William Wallace to resist, especially once Johnston's band -- clad in kilts and tribal tattoos and playing the music of their home country -- take the stage. Because as uplifting as watching "Braveheart" may be, the experience of hearing and seeing Albannach play its brand of Celtic music is even more ferocious.

And because of that energy, that primal connection to the pounding drums and wailing bagpipes that even the band members themselves feel, Johnston doesn't mind a little "Braveheart" humor thrown in every now and again.

"Oh, we get it all the time, but I'm not gonna bad-mouth 'Braveheart,'" Johnston told The Daily Times this week, his thick Scottish brogue more authentic than any Hollywood actor could ever hope to pull off. "Sure, Hollywood's got to sell a movie, so they put the sparkle in there and the love story in there, but we're happy for any exposure.

"It took a little man from Australia (director and star Mel Gibson) to put Scotland on the map, and the interest it created for Scotland was absolutely unbelievable, even today. We tour these Scottish festivals up and down America, and I'm the one in the band with the long hair, so I get it all the time -- 'freedom!' You get that shout, but you can't knock it.

"After all, it's part of Scotland," he added with a chuckle. "If you say you're from Scotland, people say 'Braveheart' in the same sentence."

As a lad growing up in Scotland, Johnston was interested in most things having to do with his culture -- shortbread, the Highlands, the rivers, the glens and the music of his country -- specifically, the bagpipes and the drums. As he got older, however, Western culture pulled him in other directions -- although he grew up in Glasgow, he never went to the pipe band championships that take place there every year, and he eventually gravitated toward rock and metal, he said.

While working as a mechanic, he discovered a second job that paid well -- acting; or re-enacting. Production companies the world over were keen on filming historical documentaries and films in and around Scotland, and the native people of the islands were sought out to provide authenticity in terms of background and crowd shots.

"Some of us knew each other before we started playing music, and the rest of us met doing fight work and extra work on movies like 'Braveheart' and 'Rob Roy' and 'Highlander,'" Johnston said. "I myself was dragged into it -- we were having to dress that way anyway for the film work, and so playing music was something we started doing to amuse ourselves.

"Next thing you know, we were being asked to perform at a wedding; from a wedding, it turned into a corporate thing here and there, and after that, we started being asked to play festivals. The next thing you know, you're a full-time band, putting all of your focus into it. It just snowballed, and now it's just a monster that's sort of gotten out of control."

The music of Albannach is cut from a similar cloth -- with the shrill call of the pipes, the steady banging of the drums and the call-and-respond nature of some of the vocal parts (there's very little singing), it's no wonder Albannach's style has been described as Celtic "battle music." It's a ferocious, primal thing of beauty, the sound of ancient ancestors being summoned up from rich earth to tell tales of battles and victories and celebrations around fires so big the darkness of a Scottish night was pushed back beyond the nearby hills.

"We just had this idea to take the pipe and drums and take it back to the grassroots," Johnston said. "I suppose my musical influences would be more rock and metal, and we try to fling a little bit of that in there with it to take it in the opposite direction and turn it on its head.

"I suppose it does take people back a wee bit and maybe puts them in touch with themselves in some ancient manner. I know it does for me when I'm playing it. It can be wild."

And the crowds, he added, can lose themselves in the music's primal nature. The band's music creates a different sort of mosh pits than those at metal concerts -- the feel is more tribal, the stomping more rhythmic, the clatter of boots and shoes desperate to tap into the elemental forces of earth and stone and water that seems so closely associated with Scotland.

"People seem to abandon themselves in the music a lot quicker, and our music is for all ages," he said. "From ladies to toddlers, right up through the grams and the grandpas -- they seem to let themselves go and not care what people think.

"I can't put my finger on it -- it just seems to strike a chord with a hell of a lot of people, whether it's letting out that pent-up aggression they feel for their jobs through the week or what, but they just let go when they come hear us." - The Daily Times/Steve Wildsmith


Albannach (2006)
Eye Of The Storm (2007)
The Mighty Nach LIVE (2008)
The SubZero Sessions EP (2010)
Bareknuckle Pipes & Drums (2011)

Albannach', our self-titled debut album, has been a huge success and has sold many thousands of copies worldwide... it was voted Album Of The Year in the 2006 Celtic Radio Music Awards - track 5 'Albacadabra' won the bagpipes category of the awards, and Albannach were also voted Artist Of The Year !

From 'Eye Of The Storm', track 3 'Auld Nick's A Piper' won the bagpipes category of the 2007 Celtic Radio Music Awards. Most recently, from 'The SubZero Sessions (EP), 'Bare Arsed bandits' won the 'Celtic Rock' category, and 'Heart in the Holy Lands' won the Bagpipes category of the 2010 Celtic Radio Music Awards.



The crowds swell and sway, leap into the air,
shout approval, many are transfixed and are taken
centuries back and are a part of some long ago
battle, in some far away Scottish Glen. As the
drums are beat, the pipes are screaming, the feet
crash on the stage, all of Albannach is moving
faster and faster, arms flying, sweat pouring and
the blood in the audience’ veins races.

Albannach is Scots-Gaelic for "Scottish" or "Scotsman". That's exactly what we are. Albannach are all born and bred in Scotland and our purpose in life is to share our intriguing culture, history and heritage with you by means of our music.

Albannach are not just another Scottish 'Pipes & Drums' band, indeed we bring a new and exciting form of music to your living room. A championship winning piper, an extremely talented main drummer, bass drummers and bodhran musician bring you a brand new approach to percussion and Celtic music.

Our style of music is exciting, energetic and enchanting and we promise to leave you begging for more.

Albannach's style has been described as “Celtic battle music... "It's a ferocious, primal thing of beauty, the sound of ancient ancestors being summoned up from rich earth to tell tales of battles and victories and celebrations around fires so big the darkness of a Scottish night was pushed back beyond the nearby hills.” (Steve Wildsmith, The Daily Times, TN).