PLANXTY - The Planxty Collection

Without wishing to step on Gavin Fuller's toes, I am going to attempt to review a Celtic folk album. Planxty (Gaelic for 'cheers') were formed by Christy Moore, Donal Lundy, Liam O'Flynn and Andy Irvine (following the breakup of Sweeney's Men) with a remit to produce pure Celtic folk music. I had the opportunity to purchase either their first, second, or this compilation album recently, and given that the band were new to me I plumped for the comp. As an introduction to the band you could not ask for better, as it features many of the best tracks from their first three albums recorded between 1973 and 1974, after which the band broke up before re-forming in the late 70's. Generally I like my folk traditional English, with perhaps a pure female voice and the odd touch of electric guitar, so this band could not be more different, being mostly acoustic with male vocals. The main difference between Irish folk and English folk seems to be the instrumentation, with Celtic folk making more use of Uillean pipes, bouzouki, mandolin, fiddle, and bagpipes, while the basic song structures and lyrical content are quite similar. It was therefore very easy for me to like this album as it was not wildly different to many other folk albums that I have. Using that as a yardstick I could confidently say that if you like English folk then this will appeal as well, and you can broaden your horizons to include the Celtic variety. Most of their albums are available on CD, but they can also be picked up fairly cheaply on vinyl.