Kevin MacNeil & Willie Campbell

(2 customer reviews)


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Kevin MacNeil is a British novelist, poet and playwright born and raised in the Outer Hebrides. His novels, A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde (Polygon) and bestselling debut, The Stornoway Way (Penguin), were both published to widespread critical acclaim. MacNeil’s first book, Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides (Canongate), won the Tivoli Europa Giovani International Poetry Prize for best poetry collection published in Europe by a writer under 35. He is also the author of Be Wise Be Otherwise (Canongate) and The Callanish Stoned (Theatre Hebrides), and his short stories have been published extensively. Kevin has been a long time friend and collaborator of ex Astrid vocalist Willie Campbell, and in 2005 their single Local Man Ruins Everything (Fantastic Plastic) was Single of the Week in The Guardian, The List and on Steve Lamacq’s radio show.  Willie still tours both as a solo artist and as a member of The Open Day Rotation, a band he formed on his native Lewis which has a “rotating” line up. The BBC filmed a documentary about Willlie which was screened during the summer of 2012.


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2 reviews for Kevin MacNeil & Willie Campbell

  1. Shangri-la

    I love this stunning album. Best described as a blend of spoken word and beautiful melodies, it features searingly gorgeous poetry courtesy of the very talented writer Kevin MacNeil, with the brilliant Willie Campbell (formerly of late 90s indie superstars Astrid) playing the music and singing refrains. It doesn’t shy away from darkness (listen to some of the words and you’ll see what I mean) but it’s also upbeat and very funny in places. I can’t compare it to anything else because it is so staggeringly different, but if your tastes lie way beyond the conventional, I think you’ll love it. Quirky, profound, amazing.
    ON AMAZON UK 12/05/12

  2. Pete Fyfe, Freelance Music Reviewer, England

    I certainly didn’t know quite what to think when this CD landed on my doorstep. Judging by the nightmarish black and white photograph on the sleeve it was probably a recording by long lost members of "Leather-Face’s" family from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre who had turned to `pop music’ for their salvation or was there something more sinister hidden beneath the jewel case…perhaps some razor blades or suchlike? No, but there was something quite disturbing emanating from the silver disk mainly through hypnotic use of what I can only describe as plodding under-played drum rhythms and judicious use of echo and reverb on the guitar by Willie Campbell. This is the kind of album that once you’ve put it on you play it to the end because you’re held captive by the sheer audacity and skills of the performers in melding together cohesive use of poetry and `out-there’ music. There’s something almost Gothic in MacNeil’s use of prose, maybe a bit like the first time you encounter a `Rebus’ novel by Ian Rankin but if you allow yourself a moment of reflection you might find you’re reluctantly drawn to a place you never wanted to admit was in your own thoughts. Of course, this way of thinking could open up a whole new can of worms but inspiring it really is. Usually I’d be the first to run a thousand miles away from such lurid detail but in fact found myself mesmerised by the articulate detail and storytelling much like that of a child bewitched by a tale from the Brothers Grimm. Buy it and see what I mean.

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