as this will be my tenth year anniversary covering Celtic Connections.! Hard to
believe. Here are some of my strongest memories and personal favourites over my
time at the festival.
One of my
most memorable experiences at Celtic Connections festival is hearing the Gaelic
songs – sung by the incomparable beauty of the voices of both Julie Fowlis or
Karen Matheson. Also newcomer Mischa MacPherson. I don’t understand each word – but
I understand the feelings and there is something expressive in Gaelic that
comes over in a way that’s not possible in English. I remember taking to press
director Hannah about newcomer singer songwriter Rachel Sermanni. She commented
how important it was too to have the Gaelic singers as they were so popular.
memory at Celtic is at the Old worldly atmospheric Old Fruitmarket venue, with
its coloured fairy lights is the perfect setting for some of Scotland’s top
ceillidh bands - Ceilidh Bands this year include – The Unusual Suspects,
Manran, Session A9 and Shooglenity.
provides a platform for hearing quality indie artists and attracts a wide
variety of talent and a music lover audience. I heard the top guitarist RM
Hubbert and the very loud prog rock band Mogwai at the concert hall.
TRADITIONAL SINGERS AND SONGS
the festival hosts some of the best traditional Scottish singers and musicians
- Dick Gaughan, Rod Paterson, Karen Matheson, Siobhan Miller.
KYLE STAGE (open mic)
Every day at
Celtic its enriching to visit the open mic at 5, which attracts top folk
musicians world wide. I’ve heard many top musicians here and sometimes those artists
who have gone on to win such as Karine Polwart, Rachel Sermanni, Manran, Genesee.
Tricky one and its hard to choose. I have to mention the stand out GRIT opening concert 2015
of Martin Bennett’s class album with the full orchestra. A highly unforgettable
experience! Martha Wainwright, who held the Fruitmarket audience with only her guitar,
voice and songs. The Tribute
concerts led by Rab Noakes for the great Scottish singer songwriters – Gerry Rafferty
and Michael Marra. And of course the outstanding Transatlantic Sessions - for the musicianship of the band and the quality singers.
Celtic Connections 2016, I enjoyed the concerts of The Chieftains,
Lucinda Williams, Rachel Sermanni,
Siobhan Wilson and especially the fun ceilidh bands of Rura and Blazin Fiddles.
As usual the highlight was the classy accomplished musicianship of the
Transatlantic band with the wonderful singers Rhiannon Giddens and Cara Dillon.
**At Celtic 2017, they will
focus on the half of the population often ignored – the women’s voices with the
singers and musicians. The women care about home, children and mother earth. There
is a story of a south American tribe where the women said, Stop, stop! – there
is enough food and shelter and telling the men to stop hunting and killing. Some of the many outstanding women this year include - Laura Marling, Eddi Reader, Mary Chapman Carpenter, Alice Marra, Karine Polwart, Beth Neilson Chapman, Shirley Collins, Olivia Newton john, Roberta Sa
This year I
look forward the wonderful and often unexpected collaborations; Showcase
Scotland; Celtic’s Educational Program. Celtic is one of the leading annual
festivals of folk, world, and roots music – 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs,
talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late sessions and a host of one-off
musical collaborations. To the opening concert with Laura Marling and the RSNO.
forgetting the men – Rab Noakes, Adam
Holmes, King Creoste, Billy Bragg, Jerry Douglas and more.
forward to the Buzz of the festival – the gathering of like minded music fans
will also celebrate the anniversary of the independence of Canada and India. The festivals partner for this year is Brazil.
also holds several major anniversaries.
|Rab Noakes and Alice Marra|