MABON
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MABON

Band Folk Celtic

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"RocknReel Magazine"

MABON
*****
OK Pewter
(MABON) www.mabon.org

Winning plaudits for their wittily titled album, Welsh contemporary upbeat folk band Mabon are an eight-piece producing the kind of crisply executed, often exhilarating and entirely memorable music that is giving folk music a good name.

Led from the front by composer and musician (accordion and mandolin) Jamie Smith, another of those scarily talented younger folk musicians, OK Pewter sees the band integrating and accommodating English, Irish, Welsh, Breton and Eastern European influences, which culminate beautifully on the uplifting ‘La Randonnee’. What makes Mabon particularly exciting is their willingness to move beyond the comfort zone; when they’re rocking they avoid the folk-rock template and when they’re adding continental elements they still forge their own identity and sound.

Add to the musical equation a fabulously funky bassist, an excellent drummer, an expressive and exceptional fiddler in Oli Wilson-Dickson and supplement it with the impressive guitar work of Derek Smith, the fine flute playing of Calum Stewart, nifty bodhran playing of Will Lang, and sterling bouzouki work of Adam Rhodes and the result … arguably the most rounded and consistently satisfying collection of folk music to emerge from Wales in some time.
Sean McGhee


Sean McGhee (Editor)
Rock'n'Reel
PO Box 38
Cleator Moor
CA25 5WA
Tel: 01946 812496
Email: sean.mcg1@btinternet.com
- Editor Sean MacGhee's Review


"Irish Music Magazine"

MABON

OK PEWTER
An Original Celtic Brew
8 Tracks 53 minutes 532 seconds
www.mabon.org

Mabon play a blend of lively modern Celtic music and although a Welsh band
their repertoire is characteristcally idiosyncratic as all the tunes were
composed and arranged by accordion player Jamie Smith, who has mastered an
essentially Celtic rock dance form at the young age of twenty-three.
The line up gives us a clue as to the new direction Mabon are taking. The
band includes original members Jamie Smith on piano accordion, his father
Derek Smith on guitars and Iolo Whelan on Drums. New faces on this album
are Will Lang on bodhrán (a past All-Britain Champion and All-Ireland
Finalist), Calum Stewart on Flute (runner-up Scottish Traditional
Instrumentalist Final at Celtic Connections 2007), Oli Wilson-Dickson on
Fiddle (ex-Szapora), Adam Rhodes on Bouzouki & Fiddle (he's from the Isle
of Man ), Jason Rogers on Bass (he has since been replaced in the live
touring band by Matt Downer).
Mabon's music is ideal for social Fest Noz dancing and with their close
links to Brittany there's a familiar Breton An Dro sound to some of their
pieces: they have become unofficial regulars at the Lorient festival, and
one track "La Randonnée" is named after their favourite restaurant in
Ploemeur.
However with the band now featuring Irish and Scots influenced players
there's been a subtle shift in the composing. For instance there are hints
of Lúnasa and Capercailie on "The Hustler" where flute and accordion trade
licks as the bodhrán tips steadily under it all.
Three sets of tunes take up almost a half hour of the album, they allow
for bigger ideas to be worked out, so we get a rolling rainbow of accordion
colours on "A Set of No Names" which has an interesting accordion and
bouzouki mid section full of the sunshine of Auray. In contrast the equally
expansive "File Under Biddley" has more of a Scottish flavour with the
fiddle setting the early tone. If I had a favourite track, for sheer
vivacity and tongue in cheek fun it would have to be the full ten minutes
of "A Hungarian in Brittany", Hanter dro meets gypsy fiddling, it's all so
mesmeric and catchy.
Mabon are a band going places, no wonder they have recently signed a
distribution deal with Proper records. The only big question is when will
we see them in Ireland; they'd be ideal for a late night Nosen Lowen for
the Bray Festival next August. Remember folks you saw the suggestion here
first!

Seán Laffey
- Editor Sean Laffey's Review


"Various Live Reviews"

John Owen – Folk Northwest Folk Magazine
This band is ‘fantastic’ and must be seen to be believed. Jamie is so good that he has the ability to demand one’s attention throughout a whole set of tunes, and that is saying something for accordionists. He exudes a confidence and ability bordering on arrogance as his complete mastery of his Salterelle accordion made me liken him to the likes of Freddie Mercury, the ultimate ‘front-man’.
Other festival and club organisers would be well advised to approach this band now whilst they are relatively unknown as without doubt they are going to be very, very big on the folk scene in the not too distant future.


Genevieve Tudor – BBC Radio Shropshire’s “Sunday Folk” programme.
“Superb band – I saw their set at the Bromyard Folk Festival – fabulous!”

Maindee Festival, Newport - Amazing high energy percussion, guitar, fiddle and accordion – if it all sounds a bit too folky for you – then you’ll just have to reframe, lie back and enjoy their stunning music (and you won’t be lying back for very long – Mabon are a great dance band).
"One of the most awesome live bands ever to hit the Welsh music scene.
A Celtic festival disguised as a band!"
Ruth Stevenson, Pontardawe International Festival

"You're a bunch of monsters…I love it!" Mike Jeffreys, BBC.

“Comme un vent sauvage ………” Ouest France Journal,France
(“Like a wild wind………” Ouest France Newspaper, France)


- Various Press and TV


"Buzz Magazine"

Welsh folk outfit Mabon’s second effort is a remarkable piece of craftsmanship, especially so as every song has been penned by 23-year-old Jamie Smith. This young man’s musical insight and maturity is quite astonishing, considering his lack of years. Traditional folk is given a contemporary edge with the occasional wry outlook, pastoral harmonies and playful melodies. The Gaelic flavour of A Hungarian in Brittany is quite charming also. This will have you intoxicated and enthralled.
4/5 stars.
- Buzz


Discography

2004 - "Ridiculous Thinkers".
2007 - "Ok Pewter" released to great reviews, incl. a 5*star review in RocknReel Magazine by their editor Sean MacGhee.
Music streamed via the band's main and myspace websites, and both CDs have had widespread radio airplay.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Heavily influenced by all great celtic music, Mabon is the Celtic music of accordionist Jamie Smith brought to life through the energetic performances and breathtaking playing of some of the best musicians in the folk scene today.
Mabon has recently expanded into a seven-piece band, introducing flute (Calum Stewart - Young Scottish Musician of the Year 2007 Finalist) and bodhran (Will Lang – BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards Finalist 2005) to a line-up comprising fiddle (Oli Wilson-Dickson – Newfolks, Szapora!), accordion, acoustic guitar, drums and bass. The result is a unique and invigorating take on Celtic music – a big stage sound and performance that firmly retains the essence of the traditional music, with the ability to both raise the roof off the festival dance house and keep the concert hall crowd glued to their seats.
With the new line-up comes a new album. Recorded in Mabon’s homeland of Wales, OK Pewter(5*star review by RocknReel mag's editor Sean MacGhee) is an outstanding achievement in folk music that promises to be an important release in the genre. The album has already earned the group appearances at top festivals including Cambridge and Sidmouth.
Mabon's musical roots lie deeply in the traditional music of its Celtic heritage, which provides the inspiration and the foundation for talented young accordionist/composer Jamie Smith's original brand of new interceltic music.
Whereas many contemporary folk groups endeavour to push forward the boundaries, Mabon simply ignore them, creating music purely for music's sake and in a manner that not only pleases themselves, but all who watch them play.