Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Big Dish supported Del Amitri

Another cool support slot was The Big Dish who supported Del Amitri at The Hydro Glasgow Celtic Connections 2014. 
I can't find anything online for this band though !


Guitarist RM Hubbert

Sometimes the support artists are as interesting as the main artist at a gig. Such was the case for last night’s concert when guitarist and singer RM Hubbert took to the concert hall stage in support of Glasgow band Mogwai, Celtic Connections 2014,  (full review to follow)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Del Amitri Reunion Gig The Hydro Glasgow

This reunion gig after a twelve year break, with one of Glasgow's favourite bands was Celtic Connections biggest show so far and it’s first at the shiny new Glasgow Hydro. The show was the start of a 12 date UK tour for the band and drew a crowd of over 8,000. In fact Curran seemed somewhat surprised by the size of his audience and he said one of his mates had bought seven tickets! 
The excitement in the air for this return gig was palpable as the band took to the Hydro stage. Successful Scottish 80s band Del Amitri delighted fans with a return to their 80s favourites and with the entire floor of the vast Hydro on its feet, the audience sang along with gusto and with calls of 'brilliant' and 'We've missed you!! 

They started the show with some of their best known - The Last To Know, Kiss This Thing Goodbye and then the driving rhythms of The Ones That Lead You Nowhere. Curran and Harvie's songs are full of both optimism and regrets.  
Other songs - Driving With the Brakes on, Being Drunk in a Band, Not Where It's At and Hammering Heart,  In The Frame. 
Fiddler player extraordinaire Aidan O'Rourke (from Lau) joined them on stage for several songs adding that extra Celtic magic for a lovely take on the songs - This Side Of The Morning, Sleep Instead of Teardrops and Be My Downfall. 
Tell Her This was sung acoustically which gave the enthusiastic crowd a chance to vent their vocal energy and resulted in some of the biggest cheers of the night.
There was also singing for their other hits such as - Nothing Ever Happens, Roll To Me (top ten UK Billboard), Driving With the Brakes on and Spit In The Rain - which is apparently a Glasgow taxi drivers favourite song! 

The band played rockier numbers and also took the pace down for the insightful poignancy of their acoustic songs in the folk idiom, with Be My Downfall, What She Sees and Driving With the Brakes on. 
Encore Songs -  In The Meantime, Here and Now, Just before you Leave, Move Away Johnny Blue,

The band were on top form as Currie's rich vocals and their tight harmonies rang out over the vast arena. Del Amitri's songs have emotional rhythm and country soul, with sensitive guitar and words that ring true.

The band centre on Justin Currie and Iain Harvie who are sensitive story tellers and have a way with words that leaves them hanging in the air. With words such as.... 
Freezes up from time to time. Lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow. Hard to say you love someone. My one girl once again tonight, till we find someone new.....
The marrying of rock and Scottish lyricisms gives Scottish bands an added uniqueness and honesty on their music.  I was over in the States when all these Scottish bands came to the fore - Deacon Blue and Simple Minds, and I remember Simple Minds on MTV. 
There was a revival of Scottish arts and music in the 80s after we lost the vote because not enough people voted, so some (not all) of their songs were new to me - and I am certainly now a newly converted fan!
This really was a great feel good concert! I loved it.

They were well supported by The Os from Dallas and The Big Dish, another first rate Scottish band reunited just last year.  

Del Amitri , Scottish alternative rock band, formed Glasgow 1983. Justin Currie (bass and vocals), Iain Harvie (lead guitar), Bryan Tolland (guitar) and Paul Tyagi (drums). Currie and Harvie are the only band members to remain and were the songwriters. The band had several top ten albums UK - .

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Roaming Roots Revue Celtic Connections 2014

I was at a Laurel Canyon concert Sunday, such great songs came out of this era – and this concert was about the young people keeping this groove alive today….

The concert was a journey through the California sounds of Laurel Canyon with some of the newer Scottish and American artists along with those summer breezes -  both nostalgia and looking forward and proved a real treat for both aging hippies and younger fans!
Forty years ago in the early 1970s when the music in New York became too corporate, many young musicians seeking artistic freedoms and sunshine took off for LA – The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jackson Browne. It was a time of longer hair and flowing skirts, peace signs and flower power dreams. I chose this concert because last years inaugural event received top reviews and also because the early 70s produced so many top albums  and some of my all time favourite sounds.
Scottish singer songwriter Roddy Hart and his quality band The Lonesome Fire opened this colourful and varied concert with the Byrd's song So You Want to Be A Rock n Roll Star.

Idlewild front man Roddy Woomble sang Neil Young’s Out On The Weekend and then a sons written by himself and Roddy Hart, Love Steals Us From Lonliness. Next James Taylor and Joni Mitchell look-alikes and sound-a-likes Zervas and Pepper performed Ghost Writer and Mitchell’s Woodstock. After which respected folk band Lau with Kris Drever on vocals, performed James Taylor’s Fire and Rain
The beautiful Webb Sisters sang their close subtle harmonies on  Everything Changes and Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel. Then Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire were joined on stage by lead man from California’s The Dawes for an excellent rendition of Jackson Browne’s After The Deluge. Frank Reader then sang a moving interpretation of a Judee Sill song, The Kiss. A treat to end the first half was a return of Cory Chisel and Adriel Harris, who both looked and sounded the part in casual American style and they sang Times Won’t Change and the Eagles Hotel California.

Second Half. Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire began with a rocking version of Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty. A highlight was dramatic American country singer Lindi Ortega with her song Cigarettes and Truckstop and the Eagles Desperado. After which we had new and top Scottish trio, Clark, Mitchell, Reilly, with Helpless (CSNY). Young Glasgow singer songwriter Siobhan Wilson sang her song All Dressed Up and then, with Tommy Reilly on piano, one of my all time favourite songs, A Case of You, with a beauty of voice and interpretation that captured the essence of the song and held the audience silent.  
The Webb Sisters sang Judee Sill’s song Jesus Was A Crossmaker, followed by Roddy Woomble and Lau with Roll Um Easy (Little Feat). An LA band The Dawes were another highlight with their songs Most People, A Little Bit Of Everything and Desperados Under The Eaves (Warren Zevon) plus an encore. Hart is clearly both a Jackson Browne and Dawes fan!

The cast of players finished on stage with some of Laurel Canyon’s biggest hits – Love The One Your With (Stephen Stills), Take It Easy (The Eagles) and California Dreaming (The Mamas and The Papas).
Quote Rolling Stone – 'It's about the vibe man and free jamming … Goldberg.‘ They want to be loose.. to have the freedom to groove their own groove.’    Photos and Review Pauline Keightley -

Roddy Hart has pulled together and compared another top quality concert that offered the audience breadth, diversity and quality. Hart also organised Celtic’s "Forever Young: A 70th Birthday Tribute To Bob Dylan" Celtic Connections 2011, and were house band for Gerry Rafferty concert (2012) broadcast on BBC 2 Scotland. The concert drew on Celtic festival’s success with melding American and Scottish sounds to offer interesting cross overs and highlight the links between the Celtic music of the British Isles and the American States. -

Monday, 20 January 2014

Nicola Benedetti performed Opening concert Celtic Connections 2014

Nicola Benedetti 
This night proved an eclectic wide-ranging night of exemplary world class music. The Celtic Connections opening concert showcased several of the artists performing at this year’s festival and offered an interesting taster of the three weeks ahead.
Duncan Chisholm and Wolfstone

Joy Kills Sorrow

Fiddler Duncan Chisholm and Wolfstone, who performed at the very first CC opening night, opened the concert with some well played reels and one lament – Big Archie, Irish Air, Flooded Meadow set.  Folk roots dig deep. Then Boston based string band Joy Kills Sorrow, with strong vocals from singer Emma Beaton in a red dress, played progressive bluegrass with a rocking energy and close harmonies.  

Next there was a real treat for festival goers with Scottish classical violinist and world class music star Nicola Benedetti who has been working on Scottish material for her forthcoming album with Shetland fiddler Aly Bain and accordionist and composer Phil Cunningham. Bain makes it all look effortless and Cunningham is a talented pianist and composer. She performed 6 tunes – Hurricane, Chan & Chanaidh, Dean Brig/ Banks, Gentle Light, Coisich, Puirt.  Nicola played a song with Julie Fowlis’s clear vocal tones, which was a delight to hear. Then fiddler Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham on piano both joined her on stage. It appeared Aly had been coaching her on folk music techniques – he is trained in traditional Shetland style with its shifting rhythms and defined edge. 

The tune Gentle Light, written by Phil Cunningham, provided interweaving pure melodies that offered subtle flights – a joy. After which they took the tempo up with some energetic reels. After the set Aly, who is a quiet unassuming man, gave Benedetti a big hug and it was evident his joy of working with the younger accomplished player. Master craftsmen easily make their instruments soar with layers of melody and harmony.  Collaborations may take us out of our comfort zones thorugh challenging raise us up. 

Julie Fowlis &Nicola Benedetti 

Second Half :  Peter Mawanga & The Awaravi movement provided colourful Malawi culture with dance rhythms followed by beautiful Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis who sang Smeorachb and An Roghainn, Puirt. She told us the moving song The Choice was about the wish for second chances. 

Yves Lambert trio
Montreal’s Yves Lambert trio took the tempo up with rollicking Cajun style songs and they have a deep rich sound. Yves Lambert, accordionist and singer, has been is a driving force in Québécois music for 30 years and a lead singer with the trio La Bottine Souriante with multi-instrumentalists Olivier Rondeau and Tommy Gauthier.
The surprise for the night was American country singer songwriter Beth Neilson Chapman, who has written may hit songs for pop and country artists and she sang Pray and Nothing I can do About it (a hit for Willy Nelson).  The concert was aptly finished by Benedetti and Phil with the fine tune Aberlady.   
Beth Neilson Chapman,

I am pleased to see the festival go from strength to strength and raise its game each year with the standard, quality and range of musicianship and artistry. It is a huge boost for Glasgow to host this world class music festival that celebrates not only the folk traditions but also contemporary and world music. A heart warming uplifting note to start the festival on!   Photos and Review Pauline Keightley.
All Photographs are copyrighted Pauline Keightley and are taken with the permission of the artists, the festival, and the venues involved. Please respect my copyright. Photos at Celtic Connections since 2008.
Benedetti  studied violin from age 4, she attended the Yhudi Menuhin school of music and she was BBC Young Musician of the Year 2004. She has performed solo with Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Life vs Hello


Back in the fifties photographer Eliot Elisofon took photos of the real African peoples to show their true majesty and strength of character. Before this many African images were of famine or war.

Back then images (and text and music) made a difference in peoples lives. They hoped to show a better way forward, more understanding, knowledge, history, beauty and information. Perhaps the word I search for here is substance.

The biggest selling Photo magazines were Life and the French Match. Life was bigger than Hello and it had full page colour images of major events such as the first moon landings or the Kennedy's. In many ways it opened up a whole new world in ways that the small B & W Tv screen was unable to. 

By contrast today's Hello magazine is completely about our celebrity culture - and if you scratch beneath the surface I have no idea ( apart from fashion style) what the magazine tells us. There are no scientists, authors, artists and a few musicians, on its pages. It is all gloss, gloss, gloss and I worry for the impressionable young. They appear to be feeding an appetite for gossip, but are they not also creating that appetite? 

Today quality images of nature can be seen in tv films.

Nowadays only the Sunday Times magazine offers some quality photojournalism and nature images in  a proper full page spread. There is today an over emphasis (especially for women) on fashion and celebrity. While I enjoy creative fashion images in Vogue or Bazaar but….

for me nothing quite beats the incredible nature photo, an insightful portrait, the memorable photojournalism war photo, a dynamic or expressive live music image, or a moment in history..

I miss those large colour quality historic Life magazine images.
In fact it was Life magazine that first sparked my passion for photography and portriat drawing.
When I view the magazine racks I am discouraged by the low standards of images - the gaudiness, brashness, lack of subtleties..  

We can view millions of images online these days but to find the quality among the that is the challenge that is both time consuming and confusing too! 


Eve Ensler One Billion Rising

Eve Ensler (born May 25, 1953) is an American playwright, feminist, activist best known for her play The Vagina Monologues. I was inspired last night on BBCs Hardtalk by writer and feminist Eve Ensler who works against violence towards women. Certainly when I listen to the news it is often about violence towards women ( just today in the UK DJ Dave Lee Tarvis and Rolf Harris are both in court for charges of sexual assaults on young women) 

She says women need to break the silence - and that most women keep quiet about their problems.  Violence towards women occurs in all countries worldwide - there is still incest, bullying, sexual harassment in the developed world - 1 in 5 women in UK are attacked, 1 in 3 in the US, 1 in 5 women on college compasses US are attacked.  Violence against women is what maintains Patriarchy. 

Her play The Vagina Monologues makes it OK for women to speak out. She heard women talk of these issues and stories that upset her.  One older woman spoke of being assaulted as a young girl and after this experience she never had sex. Eventually all the women's stories were made into her play The Vagina Monologues which is now performed world wide in 140 countries. She said the storied are universal and that all women understand them.  She claims that the violence perfumed by men against women can lead to depression, suicides and eating disorders.  She says women need to break the silence. She said that the threat of violence and daily terror leads to a siege mentality and that this existence of fear leads to depressions, destroys self esteem, confidence and sense of worthiness. 

Ensler stated that her feminism motivates her art and that they drive each other.  Eve was bullied by her own father and she said often these men are spilt personalities projecting one normal image to the outside world another violent one indoors. 
Writing was the one experience where she was able to make sense of her environment and have  a persona that wasn't being drowned. 

Of course we tend as women to blame ourselves - that is that we are somehow the cause of these attacks by our own behaviour.  I remember watching the movie Goodwill Hunting when the therapist says to Will - Its Not Your Fault, Its Not Your Fault over and over. I find it very hard not to believe it is not somehow my fault.  
Perhaps this book on art and words and music is about my journey to make sense of it all.  Music has been my escape route to a better place. When I was very young I started to write poems and  to draw. 

Ensler started the campaign One Billion Rising for Justice. She says this is a grassroots campaign organised worldwide. In 2013, One Billion women and men shook the earth through dance to end violence against women and girls.  She called on women to dance outside police buildings. Dance is a powerful expression of breaking free; tell stories, organise.

We write to you one month before 14 February, the actual day we will rise and dance for Justice. But we all know One Billion Rising for Justice is clearly not just a day. It is a campaign, a strategy, a determination, a new energy. It is months of preparation, investigation, and collaboration. It is the careful, conscious work of building a coalition, inviting new activists, and acknowledging those who have been on the frontlines for years. It is envisioning and writing new laws and legislation. It is breaking the silence, releasing our stories, naming and identifying injustices, creating demands, organizing forums and panels and events, as well as writing songs and poems and plays, and making videos. It is identifying the places where we will rise. It is learning about our sisters’ struggles around the world and making them our own. It is bringing the most marginalized to the front. It is the grassroots leading the way. It is men joining and standing with us. It is acknowledging the places of intersection. It is a decision, a vision of the world where the bodies of women and the body of our mother earth are honored and cherished and safe and held sacred. It is trust. It is expanding our identities and wounds to include the others. It is a fierce refusal to undermine or attack or diminish, but to take the time to find the language to express our grievances and frustrations, with the belief that each one of us in this struggle is on a path of evolution and revolution, wounded, broken, and doing our best. It is a wild energy that says Yes. Freedom is possible. Unity is Possible. Everything is possible. It is a Rising – dissolving borders, edges, separations. It is love, an unstoppable wave of love and justice.
This year, on 14 February 2014 we are calling on women and men everywhere to harness their power and imagination to rise for justice. Imagine, One Billion women releasing their stories, dancing and speaking out at the places where they need justice, where they need an end to violence against women and girls.  Join us!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Emeli Sande Photos

Emeli Sande Photos - from her gigs here 2007 to 2012 are available to purchase on my website -

PHOTOS – our eye improves  - just through practice, practice, practice. Sorry there are no shortcuts.

Celtic Connections 2014!

I am looking forward to Celtic festival 2014!
Celtic Connections includes well known musicians from traditional and roots music,world, indie, jazz, folk, soul and Americana. I always particularly enjoy the unique and often fun collaborations.  

This year the festival will host concerts at the new Glasgow Hydro venue and will showcase some of the cream of Scottish musical talents. Highlights include 80s Scottish band Del Amitri and respected rock band Mogwai along with RM Hubbert.  
Also an International Burns Night at the Hydro that includes - world musicians The Mahotella Queens, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Raghu Dixit, Neil Finn of Crowded House alongside Scottish talent with Karine Polwart, Salsa Celtica, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Capercaillie, Rachel Sermanni and Dougie MacLean

The Old Fruitmarket during Celtic hosts fun ceilidh nights with bands such as the Treacherous Orchestra and  Irish singer Imelda May.  
There are also wonderful small venue gigs worth checking out that include some of the stalwarts of the Scottish music scene including - Rab Noakes, Dick Gaughan. Plus the beautiful singing voices of Julie Fowlis, Eddi Reader, Mary Chapin Carpenter,  
Also a 30th Anniversary concert for Capercaillie one of Scotland’s foremost Celtic bands. The band were among the first to connect Scotland’s Gaelic traditions to the pop and world music scene, with all the “boldness, sensitivity and deep-dyed musicianship” such cross-fertilisations demand. Their new album, At the Heart Of It All, circles back towards Capercaillie’s founding Gaelic wellspring, centring on Karen Matheson’s sublime vocals, arranged with consummately elegant restraint. 

Among the artists appearing  -  Del Amitri, Imelda May, Capercaillie, Bobby Womack, Mahotella Queens, Salsa Celtica, Amadou & Miriam, Lúnasa, AR Rahman & Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Mogwai, Peatbog Faeries, Julie Fowlis, Elephant Revival, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Manu Dibango, Treacherous Orchestra, Shawn Colvin, Nicola Benedetti, Stockton's Wing, The Gloaming, Lau, Suzanne Vega, Seth Lakeman, RANT, Boban Marković Orchestra, Alkinoos Ioannidis, The Olllam, Bill Callahan, De Temps Antan, RM Hubbert, Lloyd Cole & the Leopards, Kathleen MacInnes, Tim Finn, Dick Gaughan and The Stray Birds.

2014 will see Celtic Connections celebrates its 21st year. Over 2000 musicians from every corner of the globe will come to Glasgow between 16th January and 2nd February 2014. 
 All Photographs are copyrighted Pauline Keightley and are taken with the permission of the artists, the festival, and the venues involved. Please respect my copyright. Photos at Celtic Connections since 2008.
Next summer Glasgow will host the Commonwealth Games. Celtic Connections has become the biggest celebration of the tunes and songs that connect Scotland’s musical legacy to the rest of the world.
Del Amitri Fri 24 Jan 2014, 07.30 PM
The Hydro

Tue 28 Jan 2014, 07.30 PM
Main Auditorium