Yell youngsters produce a gem of a debut CD

Tunes Galore! CD by Da Mirrie Dancers at £5.

A peerie gem of a CD, Tunes Galore! came our way recently, and is a tribute to the young Scottish Dance band Da Mirrie Dancers, who have brought it out so early in their career.

The seven band members all attend Mid Yell Junior High School, and have obviously benefited hugely from working with their music instructors and time with Julie Johnson, their motivational music teacher.

In August this year, the group played at an event called Scotland’s Got Talent at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and got a really warm response from the audience in Princess Street Gardens. In the run-up to this, they gave up large parts of their summer holidays to practice together. This is the third side of the magic musical triangle – talent, tuition and practice.

The CD has nine tracks, with a good variety of tunes, ranging from traditional favourites like Leaving of Liverpool and Oh Dem Golden Slippers, to modern classics such as Miss Rowan Davies by Phil Cun­ning­ham and Mrs Mary Printy by Iain MacPhail.

It’s great to hear young players taking on tunes which are fairly challenging by any standard, and giving them such a good shot. The arrangements are very pleasing and sensitive, and the band members seem very aware of what the whole group is doing, rather than just focusing on their own fingers and the music in front of them – good teamwork.

Of course, the other high-profile Yell CD launch is the long-awaited release from No Sweat. Not much in common, you might say, but you have two bunches of musicians who work hard at their music, enjoy each others’ company and obviously enjoy their music. Hopefully, in 30 years or more, Da Mirrie Dancers will still be hanging out together and making great music.

Tunes Galore! is available from Clive’s, High Level Music, the Shet-land Museum and local shops in Yell and Unst. If you see it, buy it.

Maurice Smith


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