Five Hand Reel
Five Hand Reel
They started gigging in late 1974, playing their first London show at King's Cross Cinema. In early 1975, Chuck Fleming returned to his previous band. His replacement was legendary Scottish singer and guitarist Dick Gaughan, an ex member of Boys of the Lough. The live debut of the renewed band was at the Half Moon in Putney in summer 1975. Five Hand Reel signed with Rubber Records in 1976 and recorded their first album, "Five Hand Reel", at Impulse Studios in Newcastle on Tyne.
It was voted as "Folk Album of the Year" for 1976 by Melody Maker. The second album, "For A' That", was recorded now in courtesy of RCA Records in July 1977, at the height of the punk summer of discontent. The opening "Bratach Bana" was one of the first Gaelic songs to be recorded using rock elements. The Irish band Horslips had recorded the same song in Gaelic on their album "Happy To Meet - Sorry to Part", also in a rock arrangement. As Dick Gaughan says in his notes to the album:"It seems odd in these days when it is now perfectly normal to sing Gaelic songs in a contemporary fashion that this was regarded as extremely daring and adventurous in 1977.
We've come a long, long way since those days." Much of Five Hand Reel's live work was on club, college, and Folk festivals of England and Northern Europe. They were very popular in Scandinavia and recorded an album of traditional Danish songs "Ebbe, Dagmar, Svend og Alan" with Danish folk singer and radio presenter Alan Kiltgaard. In England they were rather less popular, though appreciated in the Punk clubs as a live act. In 1978, Five Hand Reel's third RCA album, "Earl O'Moray", was recorded in Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales. It was rather different from the two previous LPs: a darker sounding, more seriously-minded album with a rich passionate undercurrent.
Creatively speaking, it was probabely their finest album. In late 1978 Dick Gaughan decided to leave the band because of the personal situation and later resumed his solo career. His replacement was Sam Bracken, a guitarist and singer from Belfast. Bracken's Irish accent sounded fresh on front and the rejuvenated band recorded one more album, 1979's "A Bunch Of Fives" for Topic Records before finally splitting in 1980. RCA also issued a compilation, "Nothing But The Best", that year. After the break-up, the members of Five Hand Reel pursued various solo projects.
Bobby Eaglesham released his second (after 1973's "Bobby Eaglesham") album, "Weather The Storm" in 1982. He contributed backing vocals on Dick Gaughan's 1988 solo album, "Call It Freedom", started "Festival Folk" at the Royal Oak Pub in Edinburgh and toured with Chuck Fleming. Later he became an art teacher at Polmont Young Offenders' Institution, near Falkirk. Bobby Eaglesham died on October 14th, 2004. Drummer Dave Tulloch rejoined forces with Dick Gaughan on "A Different Kind Of Love Song".
Tom Hickland played in a trio called The Pub Band doing The Beatles/Buddy Holly/folk-rock material. Sam Braken recorded with his wife Elaine, a singer/flautist, a duet CD "Once More Around The Block" in 2003. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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