In 2017, the Castlefield world music festival was held, and “Rapalje” carried the audience to the abyss of the Celtic folk again. Typically, the attendance at their concerts is repeatedly the same, but this festival attracted many new faces. After this concert, the number of “Rapalje’s” fans is likely to increase significantly. There was a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere within the whole performance. The audience entirely accepted folk motives and tunes, starting from the first slow song. Over time, the group made people dance through incendiary tunes, and the dance enthusiasm engaged everyone from the beginning to the last row. “Rapalje” was an outstanding combination of charming voices.
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Among all the Dutch successful folk bands, “Rapalje” is the most successful one. Its members play a wide variety of musical instruments including mouth organ, snare drum, Mitsuki, squeezebox, bodhrán, violin, mandolin, tea-chest bass, uillean pipes, bagpipes, highland pipes, and others. Their voices are full of emotion and intense, whereas the lead voice has a so-called “sandpaper edge”. In their folk ballads, there is a gentle flute flirting with bagpipes and other instruments. Full engagement is guaranteed even to those who never considered themselves the fans of Celtic folk.
The beating melodies make the public cheerful, inviting it to dance, clap, and sing along. An exciting feature of “Rapalje’s” folk music is that they succeed to pack gruesome and tragic stories into the joyful and reassuring tunes. Other compositions make people feel mystical due to the low accordion chords, although the rhythm tends to slight change according to the Celtic folk heritage. Each song fills the souls with a warm, comfortable feeling due to the impressive quality and soulful performance.
“Castlefest 2017 Full Live Concert – Rapalje Celtic Folk Music.” YouTube, uploaded by RAPALJE Celtic Folk Music, 2018. Web.