Tuesday 1 February 2011
Wednesday 26 January 2011
PKIMAGE Photography - http://pkimage.co.uk/
Tuesday 18 January 2011
The Old Fruitmarket is full of old-world charms and the perfect venue for this kind of line-up and they appeared more relaxed together. The stand out performances were from singer songwriters Emma Pollock and King Creosote - along with strong vocal harmonies. Karine performed some of her touching and sincere acoustic guitar songs.
Thursday 22 April 2010
Collaborations - One aspect that I enjoy at Celtic is the artists collaborating and it is obvious how much fun they have on stage (presumably backstage too!). Many of the artists at the gigs spoke about their writing with other artists and being inspired by them. In the folk world it is the norm to co-write or cover others songs.
Big thanks to all involved, and especially the many talented artists and their music. Celtic Connections gigs 2010 - Laura Veirs, Hobopop Collective, Fyfe Dangerfield, Stornaway, Beth Nielsen Chapman, The Future Trad, Angelique Kidjo, Speed Caravan, Gypsy Kings and Queens, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camera, Bellevue Rendezvous, Catriona MacDonald, The Low Anthem, Danny Thompson, Rachel Harrington, Diana Jones, The Transatlantic Sessions with Jerry Douglas and Aly Bain.
Thursday 8 April 2010
Haunting and even spiritual - they play their music with flexible bass and lots of space. Their lead singer has one of those perfect high tenor voices. They describe their music as Alternative or folk rock. The Low Anthem played their enriching
They played tracks from their third self-released album, 2008's Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. This album was named Album of the Month by Uncut and was also nominated for the 2009 Uncut Music Award. For me the stand out songs were "Charlie Darwin" " To Ohio" and "Yellowed by the Sun." The band also picked the energy of the set up and performed some jazzier and rockier tunes.
They play around 30 instruments between them – including zither, pump organ, Tibetan singing bowl, trumpet, banjo and clarinet – and have influences such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Waits. To give you an idea the Low Anthem is now travelling with - WWI portable pump organ, harmonium, AJ & HH 29" thunder drum, nipple gong, 3 clarinets, a really big fiddle, E flat marching horn, sizzling set of crotales, electricity aided guitar, rusty saw, accordion, 2 fiddles...and enough harmonicas to summon a swarm of locusts - apparently!
They met at Brown university and the band made me think of hippies and various influences from Connor Obrest, the Shins to the Eagles. I enjoyed the ethereal and atmospheric nature of their live performance - low key yet also uplifting. There was very much a student/indie music crowd at this gig. It was worth seeing them live, and I recommend checking them out.
They were ably supported by Fraser Anderson a singer-songwriter from Edinburgh who is now living in
Monday 5 April 2010
Angélique Kidjo had the Old Fruitmarket dancing on Friday night. Kidjo and her band brought rhythmic delights and the vibrancy of Africa's sun- with songs such as 'Hush Now Child,' several rumba's, and afropop dance tunes. She also sang the song La Petit Fleur with simply bass accompanying her heart-stirring voice. She is known for her wide-ranging musical influences - she mentioned James Brown, Steve Wonder, Santana and Otis Redding. Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean, rumba, jazz, gospel and Latin.
Kidjo is a grammy award winning Beninoise singer-songwriter. She studied at a Jazz school in Paris and she has recorded four albums for Island Records and in 2000 she was signed by Columbia Records. She has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. She has also recorded songs for movies, Tv and documentaries.
Later during the concert Kidjo danced through the packed audience, and it was surprising to note how tiny she was, as on stage she has a big presence. She then invited around15 audience members up to dance behind her on stage, and along to her drummer's exciting dance beats. An exhilarating and upbeat gig.
Fyfe was FUN! That's the first thing to say. He really puts so much into his performing. His songs are quality, and he draws from the Beatles, but with is own personality stamped on them. I really enjoyed this gig - from the heartbreak of 'Barricades' to the joy of 'Faster than the Setting Sun'.
Dangerfield stormed the ABC Glasgow as part of the Celtic connections festival with his latest solo album 'Yellow Moon'. He is a vibrant, energetic and expressive performer, who brought the audience with him with fun and interactive chat. This is an album of love songs, that covers all the high euphoria and depths of feeling that the first rush of love can bring. Fyfe plays guitar and also for several songs he had violin strings with him as he played piano. With Fyfe on piano he performed a tear jerker called 'Barricades' which moves the heart with stirring emotions. Other stand out songs were the light guitar song 'Livewire'; the very quiet 'Firebird' that sings of 'that bicycle made for two'; the comforting lyrics of 'my memories ring like telephones' in the sunshine feel of 'She Needs Me'; and the instant feel of 'Don't Be shy' with lyrics such as 'Ask her to sing for you, adore you.'
For the rock song 'Faster than the Setting Sun' Fyfe used a foot pedal and managed a truly tight professional sound.
Wednesday 30 December 2009
I was pleased to see both Cherryholmes and dubro player Jerry Douglas and his band at their Old Fruitmarket gig. After so many Scottish performances it was fun to see and hear the exuberant energy, fearlessness and joy of the road that I hear in American music.
Douglas had several award winning musicians with his band - Luke Bulla on the fiddle, who played with an energetic and fun style; Guthrie Trapp on dynamic and energetic guitar and bassist /composer Victor Krauss on electric cello who all perfectly complimented Jerry’s highly accomplished and engrossing musical style.
I first noted Jerry Douglas backing singer Allison Krauss and thought what an awesome band she had backing her. Jerry plays with total skill and ease producing an entertaining and fun set. Well worth reading his Bio too, a great read!
*THE TRANSATLANTIC SESSIONS
Celtic Connections festival finishes each year with the Transatlantic Sessions and bringing the songs back home. The theme was about how the Scots and Irish took their songs over to the US and how the songs came back home again.
The festival always ends with these two sold out concerts. Scottish fiddler Aly Bain and slide guitarist Jerry Douglas invite their friends to join them on stage. The concert included singers from the USA such as the powerful talents of Nancy Griffith, Dan Tyminski, Kathie Mattau - and from Scotland the clear perfect voices of Eddi Reader and Julie Fowlis, The cast of top musicians performed songs such as Hey Joe and Dylan’s Man of Constant Sorrow. We are reminded of the strong ties between America and Scotland.
Kathie Mattaau performed John Martyn’s ‘May You Never’ as a tribute to him. John died on January 29th. One of Glasgow’s great sons - Martyn performed with both Kathie and Jerry Douglas at the first ever Transatlantic Sessions back in 1995.
Provided a fun party sound. This band work in pairs with a great deal of synergy and energy and ran seamlessly through their set. Many were dancing and I enjoyed their gig enormously.
Julie Fowlis and Kath McInnes joined them on stage for several numbers. On the left were the rich brass section behind the fun rhythms and on the right the emotive Celtic sounds (fiddle, banjo, accordion, pipes) while in front were the two colourful lead singers who danced in perfect rhythm together. There was lots of colour and they blew those winter chills away with their hot, hot sound! The unique combination of sounds works. They clearly enjoyed themselves and had great rapport with the audience. There was movement, vibrant colour, smooth rhythm and positive energy. They finished the gig with a rumba conga line through the audience. We could have partied all night!
Tuesday 29 December 2009
*Karine is an astute, caring and thoughtful writer of memorable tunes. Her songs, with their direct yet careful simplicity hit home with her clear unaffected soothing tones. Karine has an engaging voice. She sang songs from her wonderful new album – ‘This Earthly Spell’ – Firethief ‘down where I cannot go’ , ‘Rivers Run’ and the touching ‘Sorry.’ Karine sang a song ‘ Bonecrusher’ that she said she had written for her favourite Tv series Deadwood. She also sang 2 of my favourites ‘ Daisy (‘There are people in this world who don’t think like you do.’) and the moving Hole in my Heart. Karine finished her set with a haunting lullaby songs ‘Beow’ which means ‘Alive’. Her music has joyful moving directness and sincerity. As Karine’s sings - ‘hearts can sing.’ Thank you guys for such a memorable evening.