Reely Jiggered made their second appearance in Germany this summer at the renowned Volmarstein Irish Folk Festival in the grounds of a ruin castle near Dusseldorf. The night kicked off with fantastic support from the Connemarra Stone Company. Reely Jiggered stormed onto the stage with their unique version of Scarborough Fair seeing Alison soar up in her own Opera Diva style met by cheers from the crowd.
The band performed repertoire from their album Kaleidoscope and some newly written numbers by Alison and Fiona which will be recorded early next year on their third album. Fiona’s banter (in German!) and her rocky numbers had the crowd dancing around the park. The band were interviewed for celtic-rock.de (a German Celtic Folk Rock magazine) before the show and were thrilled to read an excellent review from Celtic Rock the following morning.
“Despite or because of the great heat, the premises of the castle ruin atop the Ruhr valley well attended. New this year were the shuttle busses to a car park in Wetter.
The Friday offered a rocking start into the festival, which had paused since 2012. The Connemara Stone Company opened the evening in their well-known manner. Their trademarks are dramatically arranged tunes and powerful songs in which the new bassist Peter Fürback made an impression on me. Not only two guitar solos but also whistles were handled in parallel. Back Home in Derry or the self-composed Keys to your Heart were amongst the highlights. The vivacious, strong-voiced vocalist Dino Serci was never lost for words. Already before the event, he announced his mutually agreed upon resignation from the band. Manager Keith Bailey revealed that a successor has already been found and will be presented in October. As of January, he can be seen live together with the band.
As it is usually CSC (Connemara Stone Company) who bring the evening to a conclusion, we asked ourselves, who might top them. The answer was Reely Jiggered from Scotland, who performed one of their first gigs in Germany. The renowned quartet radiated musical enthusiasm and was able to enthrall the audience even at the late hours of this evening with their diverse programme. The queen bees are the sisters Alison and Fiona McNeill. Alison studied opera singing and in addition excellently plays the fiddle. Fiona does not shy away from combining her acoustic guitar with the wah-wah effect and sings bluesy and rocking sounds. Bassist Hugh Cox and Drummer Scott McLean also did an excellent job, so it all fused into a very professional show. Fascinatingly arranged stylistic excursions to Mexico or Eastern Europe always returned to Scottish material. Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Peatbog Faeries and the bard Robert Burns stood side by side as sources; join-in pieces such as the Drunken Sailor were also not to be missed. The festival day concluded with the band’s unique version of The Parting Glass.” Translation Alex Ulbricht
The band would like to thank Keith Bailey and everyone at the Volmarstein Folk Festival for such wonderful hospitality and hope it’s not too long before they are playing over in Germany again!