Liza Mulholland, Fine ‘n’ Rosy. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

The Scottish city of Inverness offers a rare sense of welcome the moment you step onto its incredibly long platform, the city of the north, the place where the old intercity trains made their final stop and in the distance the suspected resting place of Lady Macbeth is said to be stowed. Inverness is in many ways the finest of places to come from, arguably it is also one steeped in enough beauty to make anyone want to sing with passion, it welcomes the Fine ‘n’ Rosy cheeked.

The sound of generations, whether it is in the throes of battle up the road in Culloden, the sound of the rippling water that flows earnestly through a city divided only by its geographical position; that sound is how Liza Mulholland is to be heard, one of geography, of natural force. A voice which is steeped in the voices of its past and of its legends, one that is characterised by the sense of a true Scotland revealing itself to the world and one that hides nothing in the wake of music.

Mournful, uprising, captivating and alluring, each note made played by Liza Mulholland and her backing performers, Robin Abbot, Marc Clement, the bagpipes of Roddy MacGregor, Rua Macmillan, Dave Martin and Alisdair Taylor, is to be seen as ghosts appearing from the darkness and illuminating the skyline, that sound of bagpipes is strong and carries Ms. Mulholland’s messages of instant dreams deep into the subconscious. It is one that awakens a part of the listener’s identity to embrace the past that made Scotland the deeply rich and fascinating country it has become.

Where a person is from can mark their soul, they may move on, they may reposition their lives, however as Ms. Mulholland keenly shows, it forever stays with them and develops their thought, it reinvigorates their music and art. In the sensational but harrowing Took My Breath Away, the poignant display of anguish of raising a boy only for war in How More Willie McBrides? Cadal Samach and the life restoring On The Road, Ms. Mulholland carefully and beautifully makes her statement clear, her joy obvious and her moments of despair and anger, passionate and clean.

Fine ‘n’ Rosy, it is all in the title and whilst there are moments when the listener is invited to take in the sadness of a life, it does nothing to detract from the brilliance in the way such things are handled and overcome; a terrific joy to listen to and one that radiates sheer class.

Ian D. Hall