Hello and welcome to my Sunday Review. Every week I read great wildlife and nature books, see engrossing websites and hear wonderful new music – this is my chance to bring you all the best I’ve experienced – every Sunday.
Stranded – No Soond
Today it’s time to review a joyful collection of music by one of the most annoyingly named bands ever in the history of autocorrect. Try searching for No Soond and you’ll soon get tired of trying to find them. You’ll also get an explanation that soond is dialect for sound.
Stranded is an instrumental album of toe-tapping tunes and broad, sweeping, emotional, landscape-inspired tunes. It starts with Rhena’s 80th, written by Louise Bichan who also took the photographs, designed the packaging and is a cousin of Alice Tait who plays on the album. Louise does many things apart from actually being in the band. Recorded and mixed by Brian Cromarty, a man who creates technically wonderful and beautiful soundscapes in Orkney.
Buy from Amazon here.
If you like traditional music, emotional strings, vibrant playing and a sprinkle of good fun and humour added into the mix then Stranded by No Soond is for you. It’s a reminder of just how powerful the living tradition of music-making is on Orkney. It deserves all the support we can give it and we mustn’t take it for granted.
When I play it, it makes me feel happy; it fulfils one of music’s great purposes. Highly recommended.
The Peedie Orkney Guide Book
Charles Tait is such a well-known figure in Orkney that he’s almost part of the landscape.
I’ve been enjoying leafing through his The Peedie Orkney Guide Book recently. It’s a reminder of what I’m missing due to the lockdown.
Whenever I see a guidebook I’m suspicious. Many are produced at speed by people on limited budgets for publishers paying a fixed fee, have biased reader contributions and simply regurgitate information which is freely available on the Internet. Charles Tait’s books are different. As soon as you open this one, it oozes quality. There are hundreds of photographs from Charles’s archive, some full page, but most are small, perfect illustrations of the points in the text. His ‘fifteen days out in Orkney’ section at the back is worth the cover price alone. When travel and accommodation is so expensive and time is so precious it’s an obvious purchase to make best use of your experience.
Whenever people write about places I wonder whether they really understand them and can express their character fully. That’s what Charles does so well in this guide. Wherever I know about something in the Guide, he manages to sum it up perfectly. His spare writing style is right on the money. It’s his economy of style that gets me every time. There’s not a wasted word and every photograph and map is essential to your understanding.
Charles Tait runs his own publishing company and takes just as long as is necessary to research each guide meticulously. The Peedie Orkney Guide Book is the ideal insurance policy against wasted trips and missed opportunities. Highly recommended until it’s safe to visit again. You can see what you’re missing and buy it from Charles directly at charles-tait.co.uk.
I’ve got the fourth edition. It’s onto its fifth edition now. You can guarantee it’ll have every piece of information fact-checked and updated.
That’s it for this week.
I’ll be back with more reviews of things you might adore next Sunday.
In the meantime, I wish you a great week. Keep safe, everyone.