It’s been a year of weddings, nostalgia, resolutions and it has been an interesting hectic year.
I continue to love music photography but I am much more selective these days about gigs I cover as I have many other priorities. This year was quiet for bigger artists for me – well in 2011 I saw Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and not much can compare with that!
I’m so proud of the Scottish folk artists and contemporary ones too. Some have recently passed, sadly Michael Marra and there is a concert for him at Celtic 2013. It’s good to follow the new artists coming up such as Biffy Clyro and Karine Polwart.
Emeli Sande Our Version of Events, Lana Del Rey Born to Die, Jake Bugg Jake Bugg, (the new Bob Dylan? Time will tell), Grizzly Bear Shields, Lucy Rose, Django Django (from Edinburgh).
Biffy Clyro on Jools Holland stood out for me. They are from Ayrshire Scotland and I had heard of the band but had never seen them live – and what a good live band they are who have paid their dues and are more than ready for those bigger stadiums. Wow is all I can say.
Older Artists –
Bob Dylan, Tempest, Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas, Muse, The 2nd Law.
Folk Artists - Scottish Folk Concerts – Benny Gallagher, Rab Noakes,
Younger folk musicians - Kris Drever, Karine Polwart, Manran, Madison Violet,
Scottish Singer Songwriters
*Emeli Sande. It’s hard to know what to say. I have followed Emeli’s career for five years and to be there to see her take over the Albert hall stage this November was quite emotional for me, so I can only imagine what this year has meant for her. She sang the most moving moment at the Olympic opening ceremony with a haunting refined and breath taking version of the Welsh song Abide With Me. Her single Heaven was her first hit song – she also sings of Wonder, Next To Me, My Kind of Love. It certainly has been her path in life to sing for us.
There is Love in this world for everyone, Every precious smile you make, Be sure love is out there looking for you.' Michael Marra*Respected songwriter Michael Marra died suddenly. He Paints With Words. Sadly quirky and humorous and sometimes poignant artist Michael Marra passed away in November 2912. I have seen him live several times and the last time at Milngavie Folk club in 2011. I wondered he didn’t look so well in the photos. At the sound check he set his keyboards on an ironing board. I will never forget his singing Robert Burn’s 'Green Grown the Rashes O' at his concert at Mugdock theatre in 2007. He returned again in 2008 when I was lucky enough to meet and chat with him and where he signed one of my prints. He said he enjoyed playing in the small theatre with its semi-circle of tiered seats and grand piano. He looked so frail when he first comes on stage but then he lit up the venue with his deep gravelly voice - with his endearing manner and ironic dry wit, Marra sang his medley of songs which are full of unforgettable characters and images of place and time. Mugdock was a perfect venue for him and he held the audience in the palm of his hands. I’m not sure I have ever been so engrossed at a live gig. Songs.Kelly's Visit to Dundee,' 'Muggie Shaw', 'Freda Kohl's Visit to the Tay Bridge Bar', and 'Lonesome Death of Francis Clarke', 'Schenectady Calling'.
Music gigs and Royal Albert Hall. I continue to shoot occasionally at my local folk club. Along side this bigger concerts. It was my delight and pleasure to take photos of Emeli Sande at the Albert hall London at her gig there in November. It’s a venue I never dreamed of going to never mind taking photos at.
Festivals. This year at Celtic the highlight was the Gerry Rafferty Remembered concert organised by Rab Noakes. Rafferty was a truly great Scottish singer songwriter (Stealers Wheel, Bakers Street, Stuck in the Middle With You and much more) who sadly died in 2011. As always the Transatlantic Session proved the value of a great band and excellent musicianship. Edinburgh Book festival, I particularly enjoyed Nile Rodgers talk as he strummed his guitar. Rodgers has written songs for some of the greats – Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and more.
It is fun to follow the older folk tunes and folk artists alongside the newer pop music songs. I begin to wish some of these older folk artists would collaborate more with the younger musicians. A two way street though - experience and wisdoms might be passed on and the energy and enthusiasms of the younger artists could inspire and innovate. Mumford have cleverly mixed dance rhythms with folk tunes to great success