Saturday 30 March 2024

Joshua Burnside Celtic Connections 2024

 Young Irish folk singer-songwriter Joshua Burnside gave a strong performance, at Transatlantic Sessions 2024, at Celtic Connections, Glasgow concert hall - with his thoughtful songs Louis Mercer and 26th Street. He is influenced from contemporary electronica and traditional Irish songs, evoking lush landscapes, bad dreams and wistful vistas. His debut album Ephrata was awarded the Northern Ireland Music Prize for Best Album.

Charlene Carter Celtic Connections 2024

A highlight at Transatlantic Sessions 2024, at Celtic Connections Glasgow concert hall, was Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Carlene Carter­ - daughter of music legends June Carter and Carl Smith, and Johnny Cash’s stepdaughter – who performed her songs, Every Little Thing, Wildwood Flower - as well as June Carter’s Ring of Fire, for a rousing sing along finale.

Friday 29 March 2024

Woman Fight Back II! And say STOP!


Helena Kennedy

Many thanks to the National for such an impressive paper Friday 8th March, written exclusively by women for the International Women’s day 8th March. From the voices of women in Palestine, to the significant line up of Scottish women who have had a major impact on Scottish life the past decades - Helena Kennedy, Nicola Sturgeon, Margo MacDonald, Winnie Ewing, Muriel Gibson. 

Plus articles by Scots women in politics – Mhairi Black, Kate Forbes, Ash Reagan, Gillian MacKay, Mary Fraser Scott, and Joanna cherry. Plus articles by Assa-Samake Roman, Laura Young on the climate fight and Lesley Riddoch’s interview with author Sara Sheridan. Who wrote on the struggles for women’s rights, misogyny and much more besides. It’s clear we’ve come far but not far enough.

Lesley Riddoch
Nicola Sturgeon
Jucinda Adhern

If we look around the world we can see that in the nations where women have an equal voice, there is greater harmony, peace, equality and fairness. Women bring a different perspectives. Look at Northern Ireland today significantly with Stormont now led by two women – Michelle O’Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly. Or Jucinda Adhern in (New Zealand, praised for her Covid leadership. The Scottish governments baby boxes, improved childcare provisions, child uplift payment, led by the respected leadership of Nicola Sturgeon. (We must not let unionists attempt to alter the narratives here). 

I believe that sports should be an important issue for women – not only to learn how to be part of a team but also to give girls fitness and extra confidence in life. This is often an advantage for men.

Peggy Seeger

I always remember the folk singer Peggy Seeger recounting a folk legend. “Women need to say STOP! She spoke of an Amazon tribe where they considered the men tended to be destructive – they cut down trees for canoes, they killed animals for food and they fought wars. Wheras the women were the nurturers of the crops and the children.

So they felt the women needed to tell the men when to stop. They would say STOP, we have enough canoes stop cutting down trees. They would say we have enough to eat, STOP killing animals. We don’t need any more wars STOP! When one of the tribe visited the western world she wondered why there were only male voices to be heard and why the women were not saying STOP.” She also said that music is the healer and motivator.

Our great bard Robert Burns wrote in 1792 that the ‘Rights of Women merit some attention’. As did Mary Wolfstonecraft known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.

I look at Gaza and Israel’s dreadful conflicts and have to wonder if women were only in charge or even had an equal say there? A Latin American aboriginal group state - “our tribe is like an eagle. One wing is male, the other wing is female. And only when the wings are equal will our tribe fly true.” 

Mary Wolfstonecraft