Tuesday 7 February 2012

Rab Noakes and Friends at Celtic Connections Celtic 2012

The last time I saw Rab play a gig ( at the Oran Mor Glasgow, review on my blog) the venue was not so busy, so it was good to see a full house for him tonight at Celtic. 

Friends of Rab’s joined him on stage. Rod Clements of Lindisfarne sang Turn a Deaf Ear with RabJimmy McGregor who was on Scottish television music shows in the 60s, talked of the Skiffle groups and he sang Mormond Breas and Freight Train with Rab. Noakes sang some of his older songs such as Eden’s Flow, Turn a Deaf Ear and Clear Day. He also performed a selection of his newer songs. 

Noakes sang his very deep Gently Does It when he talked about all those artists he’d lost in the past year, including Gerry Rafferty. Lyrics, ‘You’ve been n the road so long, Building a highway to take you home.’ Sang Noakes in Living in the Past, ‘The past is a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. Old dreams tie you down.’ Nostalgia also came up in his song Memories.

He always includes one older song and tonight it was the classic Bye Bye Blackbird with Frazer on harmonica.
In between the songs Noakes talked about the story behind his songs. Noakes lets the songs come to him and he doesn’t force anything. He understands the meaning and depth of the songs he interprets and for him it’s all about the narrative. Noakes also talked about the movies that have inspired his work, such as 'Midnight Cowboy' inspiring his song 'I'm Walking Here.'

For his encore song he sang Dylan’s Mississippi. Many of his songs have strong blue grass and Americana influences. Rab has drawn on his Scottish Fife roots and taken on board American artists that he grew up with. I thought about how our music went over to America and then bounced back here! 

Rab took to the stage at the Strathclyde Suite concert hall 31st January. I was wishing there was a ‘Best of’ album of Noakes songs! http://www.go2neon.com/rab-noakes.htm


First Half
Wait a Minute
Slippin Away
What are you doing here?
Turn a Deaf Ear
Meet me on the corner
Eden’s Flow
Seeing is Believing
Mormond Breas
Freight Train
Living in the Past
One Dog Barks

Second Half
Gently Does it
No More Time
I’m Walkin’ here
Song to the Siren
Sleepless nights
Bye Bye Blackbird
Clear day
Wrong joke
Fallen Ones
Long Dark Night
A Day Away from here
A Brighter Blue