Showing posts with label "double bass". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "double bass". Show all posts

Thursday 22 April 2010

Danny Thompson and Friends Old Fruitmarket 30th January 2010

Renowned bass player Thompson introduced an all-star line up that included - Darrell Scott, Luka Bloom, Donald Shaw, Michael McGoldrick, Eddi Reader, Martin Simpson, Mollie O'Brien, and Tim O'Brien. They each recalled memories of Martyn and included several of Martyn's best loved songs, finishing with his best known , May You Never. This concert was part of the Celtic Connections festival and a tribute to John Martyn who died in January 2009. Thompson came out firstly for a short bass solo centre stage. He is known best as a double bassist, who over his long career has played with among others, respected folk/rock musicians Richard Thompson, Gerry Rafferty and John Martyn. Thompson has played with nearly every major artist all over the world, over his fifty five year career. He received a Lifetime achievement award in the 2007 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. One aspect that I enjoy at the Celtic festival is the artists collaborating, and its clear how much fun they were all having working with each other on stage at this gig. Many of the artists at this gig and others, talked about their writing with other artists, and being inspired by them. In this world it is the norm to co-write or cover others songs.

**Celtic Connections 2010

This year I went to more eclectic or world music shows. In fact, looking at the brochure it can be hard to find the authentic Scottish roots music. It can be a funding thing also - as inclusion and world music are the big buzz words.
I attended a to a few 'Open Mic' sessions/The Danny Kyle Stage. These are held each day at 5pm at the Royal Concert Hall - and have a packed audience and the standard is very high. This is the place for new talent and to get a support slot at Celtic. The first day I was there, there was a beautiful dark haired violinist from France who had travelled especially to Glasgow for the open mic. On Thursday a young girl singer called Rachel Sermanni caught my attention there when I stopped in briefly. I found out that she has been working with none other than respected song writer Boo Heredine for her first album and Liz (who introduces the open mic) said this girl is going places - I thought so too.

My highlights at Celtic this year were -
Fyfe Dangerfield ABC 16th Jan 2010 - Dangerfield stormed the ABC Glasgow with his latest solo album 'Yellow Moon'. He is a vibrant, energetic and expressive performer.There were shades of the Beatles and other musical influences here. Fyfe is also the leader of the pop alternative band the Guillemots.
Kirsty McGee & the Hobopop Collective, Classic Grande January 16th 2010 - for an evening of new folk traditions Live album No 5. - Kirsty McGee sings in several styles - roots, Americana, jazz and blues. She has a soothing and engrossing vocal as she sings her hopeful love songs.
Thursday the Old Fruitmarket - The Low Anthem from New York State. There is 'lots' of space and freeness in their music. They made me think of hippies and various influences from Conor Obrest, The Shins to the Eagles.
Danny Thompson the Old Fruitmarket - Renowned double bass player Thompson introduced an all-star line up that included - Darrell Scott, Luka Bloom, Donald Shaw, Michael McGoldrick, Eddi Reader, Martin Simpson, Mollie O'Brien, and Tim O'Brien. This was a quality and stately gig - and uplifting and heartfelt by the performers.
The Transatlantic Sessions Celtic Connections 2010 - Royal Concert Hall 31st January 2010. The standard of all the artists involved is extremely high, and includes the top Celtic and Americana artists - including - Michael McGoldrick (flute), James Mackintosh (drums, Donald Shaw (piano), Danny Thompson (double bass), John Doyle (guitar), Russ Barenberg (guitar), Bruce Molsky (fiddle), Tim O’Brien (banjo), Sara Watkins (fiddle), Dan Tyminski (guitar and mandolin) - and the musical directors Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas. Then the lady singers were introduced - Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson and Cara Dillon. A heart-warming, emotional quality concert. Later we stopped at the Late Sessions and heard the winner of the BBC2's Young Folk Musician 2009 played. He had the audience clapping enthusiastically.

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.

It is worth tasting the buzz of it especially over the final weekend. I know how much I got from the folk festivals in my twenties and it was an enormous eye opener about music and so very different to the pop/rock music worlds. It is more organic and the influence of the huge media conglomerates is less obvious. There are many younger artists here who are not at all about the stuffy folk image and their music expresses many genres and cultures. For example - Laura Veirs from Canada, Fyfe Dangerfield (of the alterative band the Guillemots), Speed Camera from Algiers, Hobopop Collective from Manchester and The Low Anthem from New York State. My twenty year old musician son, who plays in a rock band, came some Celtic gigs with me and I am now hopeful that not all young people view folk music as 'stuffy' or mainly for older people!

This was the 17th year and another successful one for the festival. I notice my photos change each year - I am not sure if it is me improving or the festival changing. I had a wonderful couple of weeks of music from such a wide variety of places, cultures and influences. 
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

The Low Anthem, the Old FruitMarket 28th January 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 Americana and minimalist rock to an appreciative audience at the Old Fruitmarket Glasgow. The band consists of Ben Knox Miller, a folk musician, Jeff Prystowsky, a jazz bassist and composer Jocie Adams.

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 France, and is due to release his third album, 151, in January 2010.

Monday 5 April 2010

Angélique Kidjo Old Fruitmarket Glasgow 21 January 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 Dangerfield ABC Glasgow Celtic Connections 20th January 2010

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.