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A Touch of Class Ė Pride of the Raven.

To read another review of this CD from Robbie Gallimore click here.

EVEN WITH EAST BELFAST having so many outstanding loyalist marching bands at the present time like Ballymacarratt, the Protestant Boys and Gertrude Star to name just a few, there is one band for me that stands head and shoulders above the rest.  A band whose marching style and discipline and ability to plat great music both of the melody and Blood and Thunder variety is second to none.  Of course the band I'm talking about is The Pride of the Raven FB.

I haven't seen much of ĎThe Ravení over the last few years.  But I do remember attending a parade in Belfast in the 80s with my own band, the Loyal Sons of Benagh.  The whole band were in awe as The Raven marched proudly past. So it was with great anticipation that I sat down to listen to their new CD, A Touch of Class.

The first track, British Legion, set the tone excellently for the rest of the CD.  Itís a great military march with some superb drumming - so good it even had me marching around my lounge.  (Blush!)

What surprised me about track two, The Councillor, was The Ravenís ability to switch from melody to Blood and Thunder so easily.  This is a great tune played in a traditional Blood and Thunder style.  Simply excellent.

The other tunes on the CD played in a Blood and Thunder style which really stood out for me were track six, Rambling Irishman; track 18, Rifles and track 14, Every Other Saturday.  This old Rangers tune is played brilliantly.  However, my favourite is track ten, White Plume.  Pure Blood and Thunder! 

I must also mention track 22, Black Bear.  Itís a very entertaining if unusual tune.  It has an excellent mix of Lambeg and Pipe Band style drumming which you'll either love or hate.  I can't decide!

But, I suppose The Raven is best known as a melody band.  So the melody tracks that stood out for me were track 9, Flag and Empire.  This is a great melody tune accompanied by some outstanding drumming.  Track 19, On the Quarterdeck and La Festive - a tune which grows on you the more you listen to it. The prize for the best melody tune has to go to an old favourite of mine.  Itís track 23, Killaloo.  Itís a tune that my local band in Newry, the Hunter Moore Memorial, one of Ireland's top melody bands plays so well.  But The Raven surpassed even them on this track,  a lovely stirring tune played so brilliantly it made me quite emotional.

All in all this is an excellent CD from one of Ulsterís top melody bands.  Itís a CD that all lovers of melody and Blood and Thunder music should strive to have in their collection.  Simply A TOUCH OF CLASS.

Colin, South Down.

The Twelfth thanks Colin for this review.  He is also the author of The Bannerman, which looks at his childhood experiences of the 12th July Celebrations.  To read another review of this CD from Robbie Gallimore click here.

For a copy of A Touch of Class, send a cheque/Postal Order (made payable to Glenwood Publications) for £11.00 (including p & p) to:

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