by The Horslips
Prog Folk Rock band produce concept album based on Irish legend about some people stealing cows from some other people. Oh, you know you want it! I bought this album (or had it bought for me, I can’t remember) as part of my short-lived Glastonbury-inspired Celtic Rock period. Which consisted of two albums. You really can picture them coming up with the idea (or concept) for this album. Head Horslip says to drummer ‘If only there was some way we could combine our twin loves of overblown po-faced rock music and old stories about people fighting.’ Drummer: ‘Maybe there is, pass the spliff’.
Anyway, the only way you can tell this is based on the Tain, apart from the title of the album, is in the helpful sleeve notes which retells the story interspersed with selected quotes from the songs to show you what they’re really talking about. To quote; ‘Maeve’s army moves South with the stolen bull. The Ulster men rally and with Cu Chulainn back in their ranks they give chase. “But before you hit off, let me say this time you bit off more than you can chew.”’
Anyway, this is quite a fun album in an ironic way, which might be the only way I can enjoy anything these days. There’s a great bit where they represent a fight between two champions by an extended fiddle/guitar with far too much reverb duelling banjos style section.
There are also some lyrics that are pompous enough to raise a chuckle, such as ‘Now we’ve got time to kill/kill the shadows on our skin/kill the fear that burns within/killing time my friend.’ And at least it isn’t all shouting about how good it is to kill policemen and disrespect ladies. Proper music.