La Llamas – Bread and Jam

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

There’s something immediately homely, rather than home-made, about Bread and Jam, the debut album by La Llamas, an Aberdeenshire-based duo made up of Davy Cattanach and Paddy Buchanan. The fact that this album is dedicated to Davy’s mum, who he shares a home with up there at the top of the country (where the album was recorded) relates very much to home, but giving the album such a title makes things seem even more homely. There’s a sense that we already know Mrs Cattanach well.

In places reminiscent of the early Incredible String Band and possibly The Humblebums, with a predominant banjo and guitar accompaniment, the duo make a joyful, wistful, down to earth sound, completely devoid of pretension or ostentation. The songs are divided into two sections; ‘Bread’ on the first side and ‘Jam’ on the other, with Davy and Paddy bringing the old folk sensibilities up to date with apparent ease. Equally at home with the jaunty skiffle of “Jacked Up” and the biting social commentary of “Media Schmedia”, the La Llamas also have a flair for convincing Gospel with the funky soulfulness of “Gabriel”, featuring Mhairhi Sinclair and Lindsay McCrone’s credible vocal touches, not to mention the utterly infectious “Do You Need Jesus?” with Jenny Sturgeon’s assistance in taking us to the mountain.