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Comments for Stivell, Alan, 3rd International Tour

After a brilliant run of albums throughout the 1970s, this tenth album (third live) is Stivell''s first below-par. It''s hard to say why, as many of the tracks here are strong, but somehow the whole is less than the sum of its parts, and one longs for the sweeping flamboyance of the Dublin concert. After a tasteful low-key traditional start with a Breton love-song, two tracks from Stivell''s history of Brittany follow, both good examples of his musical adventurism with a weird but effective blend of medieval and rock. Tracks 4 and 5 are poems set to music by Stivell, taken from his superlative but elusive Vers L''Ile album (1976). We shall Survive is a selfpenned anthem: doggerel lyrics in English, but musically it works - a catchy Celtic swing. A passable attempt at Irish sean nos singing goes into a magical Musical Priest on the harp at triple speed. His wierd and wacky take on a Gaelic waulking song (reprised from his last album) never really gets off the ground. Part of the problem is undoubtedly the sound mixing, which is generally muffled and messy, but the nervous jazzy improvisational accompaniments on the upbeat tracks - and particularly the breathy flute playing rob the music of much of its drive - the effect is cluttered, with none of the dramatic flair that marks Stivell at his best. An interesting album (especially if you can''t get hold of Vers l''Ile and Raok Dilestra/Before Landing (1977)), but not an essential one.
Also known simply as "International Tour".
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