Wow, it has been almost 10 years since Gaë Bolg suddenly appeared in the scene with their crazy medieval drumming sound with trumpets, weird singing and idiotic costumes. According to Discogs recordings of their 9/9/00 legendary show in an Amsterdam squat (which I attended) has been released already five years ago. I liked Gae Bolg’s earlier sound, but I did not really follow them after the “Oran Môr” vinyls because they were not all that good. Besides, the band brings some humour to the scene, but I do not often feel like playing humoruous music. So with a gap of about 8 years, I decided to get myself the latest attempt of the “Grand Maistre de la Gymnosophie”. The music seems to have become even more crazy than in the early days. Drumming, singing and copper, they are still present, but also discobeats and manic “lalala”s. Gae Bolg definately have not lost their touch, so this is a nice release should I ever feel like crazy music.
Links: Gae Bolg, Le Cluricaun
I have been looking forward to this split 12″. Both bands appear with brilliant contributions on the “Eistedfodd” compilation of the same label that released this 12″. Gaë Bolg also has a good full-length cd out on Cynfeirdd as well. This 12″ is the first of the “Oran Môr” trilogy in which these two bands and Nothvs Filivs Mortis will have a split 12″ with the two other bands.
“Aryant ol. 1” begins promising with ODO’s piano, beats, singing and later marchdrums. In comparison to their “Eistedfodd” contribution, this track is rather tranquil. The second track of ODO is not that good. It’s tranquil, with vocals and a few strange sounds and actually this sounds a bit too much like Gaë Bolg!
Gaë Bolg opens with a tranquil track with a heavy beat. This track is not very good. The second track is even poorer. It is some kind of soundscape with a few flutes. Also I don’t hear in these two songs that they are actually recorded with 12 members!
So musically this 12″ isn’t that exciting. The only positive point about this 12″ is the exquisite inlay with beautiful medieval caligraphs from the hand of Ars Magna 118+ (ODO?) who also plays the “Bic” in Gaë Bolg.
The 12″ contains a card in which you can order an upcoming Gaë Bolg picture vinyl, which will be only available for “subscribers”.
Should you want to get this split 12″, be quick, because there are only 333 copies available. I’m actually more looking forward to hear more of Nothvs Filivs Mortis though…. <9/9/00> <2>
Well, the performance of Gaë Bolg in Amsterdam was definately a 5 out of 5 though!! <10/9/00>
Phew. I feared the worst for this 12″. It was actually only supposed to be available from the band itself. That I could just order it from my usual mailorder couldn’t be very good news. Further, Gaë Bolg had a steady downward line of quality in their music. Their contribution to the legendary Eisteddfod compilation is brilliant, their cd magnificent, but the Oran Môr split releases are pretty boring. Fortunately “Tintagel” sounds more like the cd with a lot of drumming and loud singing. Side B is not as funny as side A, but still agreeable. Anounced are a cd and a picture 12″. <4/7/01><3>
However the second part of the trilogy is also limited to 333 copies, I had a lot more problems getting this one than the first item. For some reason my usual distributors didn’t get copies of this 10”, so I got mine directly from Cynfeirdd.
The first item in the trilogy was the Omne Datum Optimum split 12” with Gaë Bolg and this one was also reviewed in these pages. The last part is planned for early march and it will be a split 7” between ODO and NFM. The first of these two also have their own 7” on Cynfeirdd.
Gaë Bolg present a better track here than on the 12”. It is in their ‘tranquil’ style and not a bombastic track like on the cd or the Eisteddfod compilation.
Nothvs Filivs Mortis contributed with a dark ambient track, but still fits well between the Gaë Bolg and ODO tracks.
NFM has plans for a vinyl and a full-length cd on Athanor by the way.
If you want to get a copy of Oran Môr II, be quick and contact Cynfeirdd immediately! <20/1/01> <3>
A sticker saying: “by member of Sol Invictus & Lorchestra noir” is probably supposed to draw the attention of people who like these bands, but Gaë Bolg has little incommon with Sol Invictus and definately nothing with l’Orchestra Noir. The thing that Gaë Bolg and Sol Invictus do have incommon, are folky elements. Whereas Sol Invictus is pretty folky as a whole, with Gaë Bolg it is more an undertone.
But was does this band with the strange name sound like then? Well, imagine fierce drumming, a lot of copper (horn and trumpet) and victorious male singing and you will have an idea. Actually this is more a militant cd than a folky one, but there are some medievalish tones to be discovered. As a whole the cd reminds a bit of warrior-movey-soundtracks, but in a lot better way. As a matter of fact, this cd is bloody brilliant and if texts were enclosed, it would be a nice cd to sing along.
The title is a line that appears in old Irish poems/songs and John Barleycorn seems to be a more or less legendary figure. It even seems that there is some pagan festival with the name “John Barleycorn Must Die”. Maybe the rememberance of the man’s beheading? I don’t really know, this is all that I could find.
The of the artwork reminds a bit of early cds of The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud by the way. <13/6/00><4>