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Flutatious, by Flutatious [3 January 2009 14:00:53]

Flutatious, by Flutatious is one of those albums that is almost impossible to define, categorise or shelf. You cannot define it as being of one genre or another; you cannot do the usual comparisons with like; but neither can you just put it on the shelf. Once it's in the player, it tends to stay there.
The folk, rock and classical influences are all there, but you cannot point to one other artist and say 'they're like them', because, well, they're not. Some comparisons may cite such noteables as Nigel Kennedy or Vanessa Mae, but to do so would be to actually detract from what it is Flutatious do. And to merely state that folk/rock/classical fusion is where Flutatious are at, demeans the wealth of influences, talents and skills and, when you're deep into a track like Spacechick, it's limiting.
There are 10 tracks on the album, from the aptly-named Intro, to Road To Skye, which is I'm sure, a musical tribute to the circumstances that brought Flutatious together.
Spacechick is classical, with flute and violin; it is rock, with 'subtle' guitar, upside-down bass and pots and pans; add the jazzy piano into the mix and you have a track that, for Flutatious fans (like me), is destined to become 'classic' in its own right. It is rocky beat and guitar riffs. It is flute, violin and piano counterparts and depth - it's a bit like a trance construction, but (in true Eric Morecambe style) with all of the 'wrong' instruments. Or at least, played on instruments you would not expect for that genre, if indeed 'genre' is even relevant here.
Venus opens with Bass and Drum rolling out a strutting, jazzy rhythm. In comes the flute with lifting, more vigerous melody, whilst the piano syncopates with the bass. When the violin adds a celtic feel, preparing the way for the vocals, you feel the song is well underway - but there's more to come. The drums develop into a more rocky rhythm, providing the backdrop onto which the guitar can enter the scene and we are submerged again in the soundscape that is Flutatious, before returning to the original theme. The build-up begins afresh and we are treated to a longer rocky theme before the track returns you gently back to Earth with its gentle refrain.
Trippy Jig is as the title suggests, upbeat; a celtic dance, but with phsychedelic overtonal interludes. It could be labelled 'Celtic Rock', but such is the delivery that the phrase 'Celtic Rock' itself sounds 2-dimensional and lacking in justice to the track.
Perhaps a more 'traditional' approach to the celtic/folk dance is Morag's Dance, with haunting violin to start, countered by the guitar, overlaid onto the drums and piano. Moving onto a a livlier refrain, the flute teasingly adds another level as the track gathers momentum, resulting in a most pleasing sound that I defy anyone to not enjoy.
Jazzy Jig is one of the very few tracks that I can point to and say I have something with which to compare it - there appear to be definite Ian Anderson influences here, but the track is not Jethro Tull - it's definitely Flutatious, and as soon as the track develops beyond the intro, you know this.
Eurabin Falls has such an interesting name - but an internet search finds only .... a Bill Forwell YouTube page with - this track played live at Grosmont (Yorks). So is 'Eurabin' made up? Or have I fallen victim to a Bill Forwell joke (you're a bin)? Whatever, and no matter; the track is a mix of Country folk, Irish Jig and Scottish Reel, all rolled into one - a real toe-tapper. This track has magic about it; if you're standing you cannot help but dance, even if only a little bit and, if you're stuck in traffic, it blows away the frustration (I know this. This album has been running round and round in my car for weeks now). Definitely a track to ease the depression - in fact it's so good at that, it should be available at all good chemists.
Tha i Ban ('i ban' means 'I peak' or 'in order to peak', in Welsh - is this relevant?) begins with gentle, rolling piano, with violins entering with a typically haunting theme that sweeps you up before the guitar starts to build up a tension, and, moments later the song ameliorates into a series of real, thumping rhythms, with wonderful violin-and-piano interludes of calm. A driving track, a vehicle for
Flutatious to show off their individual talents and virtuosities, whilst maintaining the tightness and adhesion of a group truly working together. In this track, the truth behind the adage 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts' becomes evident. Tha I Ban is an excellent track and you could be forgiven for thinking that if any one track shows us what Flutatious actually are, this may be it.
Angelina does not sound like, nor could you say there are definite influences as such, but rather hints of similarities with Trespass-era Genesis, maybe even Brian Auger or Roland Kirk, but it's all Flutatious. A classicly pleasant beginning, driven by a compelling beat, becoming a psychedlic trip back to days of Californian Sunshine before returning to the celtic-but-not-quite original melody. Again, starting slow, building up, breaking off and building up again - Flutatious take you on a journey of varying heights in their own special way.
Road To Skye couldn't be anything but Scottish Folk taken to new levels in the way Flutaious do this. The song develops once again into a hearty rhythm that would be perfectly at home at any celebration of 'highland-ness'. Is the aboriginal chanting from kilt-clad caber throwers - or a Native American fusion? Whatever, it comes as a surprise - not because it's out place, but because by the time you've realised it should be, it's gone and it wasn't at all. A great track, another great feel-good track and a perfect way to end a truly excellent album.

review by SNAK
- SoundAwesome


Flutatious 1 Album 2006/7
Flutatious 2 Album 2009/10



FLUTATIOUS came together after an inspiring trip to the Isle of Skye. The scenery and relaxed vibe inspired Michelle, Bill, Andy and Stella to put a new band together.
Malcolm came in on drums and then the band met the talented Mr Williams and were immediately knocked out with his jazzy vibes. 2008 saw the band finish their self-produced first album which has been selling out at every gig and was named as ‘demo of the week’ on Celtic Music Radio as well as receiving countless plays here and abroad on internet stations.

The band also had the pleasure of playing Small World, Eden, Cornbury, Hawkfest, Solfest and Weyfest and are playing to ever increasing audiences in their native northwest London.

Is there a right way to play or a wrong way to play? FLUTATIOUS do both at the same time. Soaring melodic flute accompanied by flying fiddle, atmospheric guitars, jazzy vibes and groovy beats.

With their unique sound Flutatious have been gaining interest from various parts of the 'industry' but still enjoy the freedom of being truly independant. Self produced, managed and promoted. Flutatious finished writing and recording new material for their second album, released on March 20th 2010 and have enjoyed an increasingly busy year with headline slots at Ecofest 2010, Knockengorroch, Alchemy and Waveform festivals. They are currently in the process of booking and confirming dates for 2011 and looking forward to starting work on their third album. The band would like to thank everyone who has danced and contributed to such an amazing four years. It has been said that 'Flutatious are one of the bands dragging folk/rock into the 21st century...'

We just hope you enjoy the sound.