Angel Air 2022
From Apennines to Dublin and back again, unabashed funsters spread their melodic message across the waves.
Celtic rock cooked in Italy could sound like a crazy idea if only the actual crazy music this ensemble have been serving up for decade and a half didn’t sound so deliciously authentic, aurally and spiritually, as confirmed by the Büsti Gràndi sextet’s storming success in Éire. Three full-length platters into their career, it’s about time the collective’s profile was elevated enough for the whole wide world to join in the shameless shenanigans that go on in locale-shifting songs like the boisterous “Green Shamrock Shore” and get away with any repercussion that might arise from feeling too merry. The band are aware of such possibilities and seem to boldly tackle the perils in “I Only Got One Pint” and other giggle-inducing stories, yet the recklessness the dozen choice numbers from all those records exude is something to be reckoned with.
They never outstay their welcome, as opener “The Flat Above My Pub” tentatively suggests before letting reeds and drums to flesh out its mandolin lace and form an infectious reel which Guido Domingo’s succulent vocals take to the end of the drunken night where belligerent beats and choir have a field day, and where the marching “If Only He Applied Himself” sheds neither tear nor regret until its lines swell with swagger. But while Silvano Ancellotti’s guitar and Lorenzo Testa’s banjo weave a strum on “Gipsy Geezers” in a slightly histrionic manner, and Luca Crespi’s flute and whistles wail on the punky “Black Sheep” to a great effect, the acoustic drive renders the solemn “Man Of The Storm” wondrously desperate, and Uilleann pipes strive to give “Anger” the same edge until the piece speeds up and soars. And then there are the beautiful, vibrant “The Dark Side Of The Leaf” spuming existential angst and channeling pain into a hard-hitting tune, and the trad spunk of “Back On Your Feet” to fill the listener with courage to carry on – as the the guys do themselves, with flair and gusto, on “The Rambling Bhoys” and on the previously unreleased bonus of “Molly Maguires”: presumably a fresh cut, this alluring track points towards the glorious future. Long may the bastards run!