This rather passed me by when it was released in November – not really my usual cup of tea – but the album has been sitting, nagging away at the corner of my eye so I decided to take the plunge. Rather glad I did because the music is quite delightful and at this time of the year very appropriate!

Sharon Shannon plays accordion, extremely well and has played for the likes of U2, Willie Nelson, Imelda May and Alison Krauss as well as a whole stack of solo number one albums and singles in her native Ireland and I did wonder what she would be like with a whole orchestra behind her. Inevitably, I was worried that the power of an orchestra might swamp her playing but that wasn’t the case and she takes a clear centre stage with the orchestra adding texture and a strong support sound to her fluid playing.

Numbers like ‘Dreamcatcher’ and ‘Cape Clear’ are emotive and thoughtful while ‘Flying Circus’ and ‘Windchime Dance’ are easy to lift a skirt to and perfect New Years Eve party tunes.
‘Lady Luck’ is a cracking little latinate dance number immediately followed by my favourite number on the album ‘Butterflies’ which has a French feel and a really light and flighty air to it.

Quite a change from the usual round of rock and Blues but well worth looking into if your tastes aren’t fixed or you want a gentle comedown from the heavy festivities.