Iain was the drummer in the Peatbogs for around about 15 years and produced 6 of their 8 albums with production partner Calum MacLean.
You can hear some of the album tracks in the player on the right and if you’re interested in seeing some videos with Iain on drums you could go to Iain’s youtube channel for a peek.
Below is a review for Croftwork, one of the first albums by the band that featured the horns, taking the band to another whole new level at the time. Croftwork was recorded at Iain’s studio in Roag on the Isle of Skye, which sadly is no longer there. The studio album ‘What Men Deserve To Lose’ was also recorded there before Iain moved to his current home in Skinidin approx 5 miles away.
Yep, I know it’s got a cow on the cover, but Croftwork is intelligence and daring wrapped in an Aladdin’s Cave of possibilities. No bull. If Shooglenifty are Scots fusion pushing into wider world styles, then Peatbog Faeries are happy to be Scots pushing their own style into the wide world. Got the difference? Good, because it’s crucial to understanding the potential of the Skye mavericks.
Welcome to Dunvegas was their calling card left politely, this one hammers the message through the front door and down the hallway. Here Adam Sutherland and Peter Morrison – in particular – piper and fiddler respectively, have hit stride and stir the same demons as Moving Hearts did with the genius of The Storm; that is, put simply, a compelling, haunting, danceable spree that makes no apologies for roots, indeed, would not and could not exist without them so shouts it loudly from the rooftops.
Whilst one or two of the titles may be a bit tongue in cheek, for instance Scots on the Rocks, there is nothing apologetic about the music which runs some eleven tracks, from hi-tech drizzle reeling to plaintive electronic airs. Peppered with a horn section that comes straight out of The Commitments, there is pretty much no stone left unturned in their race to recreate the Caledonian soul. The opening track comes on like a Battlefield Band lift, until the cavalry arrives in the shape of huge granite rhythms and honking brass riding a funk groove. If only James Brown had been born in Portree! There are moments too of jazzy ambience: Weakened wheels and circles in cascading spirals, the horns once more punctuating the forest of samples and loops. The title track picks up similar ideas to the late lamented Martyn Bennett, while When The Seahound Left Me could have come fresh from a Nathan Hines album before surging into a plaintive fiddle led lament. Other such glories flood rather than pepper the rest of an album that’s almost taken up residence in the stereo. Your home will be the poorer for not owning this joyful, playful, energetic wonder. Froots Mag
What Men Deserve to Lose:-
There can be no one direct approach taken to describe the constantly evolving music of the Peatbog Faeries, its very nature is polyglot and that disparate collection of philosophies makes them the perfect band for 2007.
In a time when we have to move beyond silly categories and vague labels, which by very definition can no longer apply – unless you’re stuck in a time warp – fusion is the only term that makes real sense. If anything, What Men Deserve to Lose ( a quote from writer Derek Cooper) moves out further into the big, blue beyond, still latching on to island roots yet in a mood of glorious experiment.
The Peatbogs have thrown caution to the wind, through ten tracks of busy, busy music nothing seems beyond them and even if it is, by God they have a bloody good tray at touching every base. So is this where the writer falls back on Clichés and starts to make generic references? Er, no! However, allow me this – if Junior Walker & All Stars had been based in Portree, played bagpipes and fiddles as well as brass and known about dub and programming, then maybe I should just say this is unique. I love it heaps. Now if only Milo had time to do a remix. Froots Mag