Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
The thrill of listening is not one that should ever be dismissed as sleight of hand, a trick or an illusion of the senses, each note after all is like a word in a poem, it is fought over, it is a war between what might be perceived as popular and what is right; the politics of movement over the commonly accepted and often unappealingly fashionable.
There is always A Place In Time for the heroics of the beefed up music for those who seek it, the flexed muscles that the mandolin can provide, the temptation of a lyric without sound, of the instrumental with due course and reason; after all and to corrupt gently the words of Michael Myers, Pink Floyd didn’t write music that everybody would dance too or lose their minds in a teenage fantasy or dream, for that they rightly left to Justin Beiber.
The same goes to the tremendously musically endowed Shetland group Vair and their album A Place In Time, epic without going overboard, youthful without being damned by those who dare suggest they might not have the age in which the voice can carry off the powerfully reminiscent or the charmingly poignant. The stately is hard to ignore and for a reason, it knows it can transcend the moment, populism is short term, fashion goes in the blink of a catwalk queen’s latest tweet, yet the stately, the imposing lasts way beyond the dream, it becomes a reminder that being built to last is a compliment to the art you are pursuing.
For Erik Peterson, Ryan Cooper, Lewie Peterson and Jonny Polson, A Place In Time has been surely been made possible, as the collection of songs in this album more than suggests it should. The band may have been forged in the Shetlands but the mix of traditional Scottish flavour twinned with the American Bluegrass is not just intoxicating, it is impossible to overlook.
In tracks such as Delunna, Atween Da Wadders, the brilliant Jolly Good Jigs, the captivating imagery found in Roland The Headless Gunner and Jessi Jo-Ann Couper, this young band have taken everything good about the distinctive genres and turned it into a feast. It is a rolling tumble down the greenest of hills and one in which memory becomes fascinated with and always wishes to recreate, no matter how many minutes or days have passed by, for as they can attest with this wonderfully produced album, there is always A Place In Time for those who dare and believe.
Ian D. Hall