Showing posts with label “Rab Noakes”. Show all posts
Showing posts with label “Rab Noakes”. Show all posts

Sunday 12 February 2012

Celtic 2012 Review

One of the joys of Celtic Connections is that there are so many top class musicians of all genres in town for the two weeks. Although for me highlights are the Scottish Ceilidh bands, unique collaborations, emerging talent, American bluegrass, traditional singers and singer songwriters, Gaelic singers, 

This year I’ve been busy with reviews and with being unwell the first week I’ve not covered as much as usual. Saying that though the Bring It All Back Home: Gerry Rafferty Remembered provided one of the best concerts I’ve been to at Celtic – I am still singing Rafferty songs 2 weeks later!

I also had a lovely trip to the Fruitmarket, the ABC and I enjoyed a few nights at the Late Sessions and the open mics at the concert hall. The Rab Noakes concert was also highly enjoyable. Celtic finished for me with the ever wonderful Transatlantic Sessions.

This year was about the craft of the Songwriter with many concerts - one for the 100 year centennial for Woody Guthrie; an outstanding concert to commemorate and celebrate one of the best songwriters Gerry Rafferty organised by Rab Noakes
the protest song with Scottish songwriter Karine Polwart and Justin Currie; The Transatlantic celebrated several gifted writers and musicians among them the extraordinary Jerry Douglas from Ohio, Shetland fiddler Aly McBaincand guitarist Russ Barenberg  Other concerts included – Scottish songwriter Rab Noakes, Irish troubadour Luke Bloom, Thea Gilmore sang songs written by iconic English folk singer Sandy Denny, Mercury nominated King Creosote and John Hopkins; and younger artists Rachel Sermani, Breabach, Manran, Madison Violet, Admiral Fallow,and James Vincent McMorrow. 
Celtic encourages new artists via several routes – the BBC Young Traditional Musician, the Danny Kyle open stage, Showcase Scotland, (with Celtic artists worldwide), and with BBC broadcasts.

I would have wished to attend more but was unable to due to my very heavy cold the first week. Even so it was a delight as usual to attend the concert hall, fruitmarket and other venues for Celtic 2012. Another successful festival and as the girl from Madison Violet put it – how lucky we are to have a festival like this in Glasgow. 
If you watch the wonderful program 'Gerry Rafferty Remembered' - you can see me taking photos on the Ron Sexsmith song! Fame at last!

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Rab Noakes and Friends at Celtic Connections Celtic 2012

The last time I saw Rab play a gig ( at the Oran Mor Glasgow, review on my blog) the venue was not so busy, so it was good to see a full house for him tonight at Celtic. 

Friends of Rab’s joined him on stage. Rod Clements of Lindisfarne sang Turn a Deaf Ear with RabJimmy McGregor who was on Scottish television music shows in the 60s, talked of the Skiffle groups and he sang Mormond Breas and Freight Train with Rab. Noakes sang some of his older songs such as Eden’s Flow, Turn a Deaf Ear and Clear Day. He also performed a selection of his newer songs. 

Noakes sang his very deep Gently Does It when he talked about all those artists he’d lost in the past year, including Gerry Rafferty. Lyrics, ‘You’ve been n the road so long, Building a highway to take you home.’ Sang Noakes in Living in the Past, ‘The past is a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. Old dreams tie you down.’ Nostalgia also came up in his song Memories.

He always includes one older song and tonight it was the classic Bye Bye Blackbird with Frazer on harmonica.
In between the songs Noakes talked about the story behind his songs. Noakes lets the songs come to him and he doesn’t force anything. He understands the meaning and depth of the songs he interprets and for him it’s all about the narrative. Noakes also talked about the movies that have inspired his work, such as 'Midnight Cowboy' inspiring his song 'I'm Walking Here.'

For his encore song he sang Dylan’s Mississippi. Many of his songs have strong blue grass and Americana influences. Rab has drawn on his Scottish Fife roots and taken on board American artists that he grew up with. I thought about how our music went over to America and then bounced back here! 

Rab took to the stage at the Strathclyde Suite concert hall 31st January. I was wishing there was a ‘Best of’ album of Noakes songs!


First Half
Wait a Minute
Slippin Away
What are you doing here?
Turn a Deaf Ear
Meet me on the corner
Eden’s Flow
Seeing is Believing
Mormond Breas
Freight Train
Living in the Past
One Dog Barks

Second Half
Gently Does it
No More Time
I’m Walkin’ here
Song to the Siren
Sleepless nights
Bye Bye Blackbird
Clear day
Wrong joke
Fallen Ones
Long Dark Night
A Day Away from here
A Brighter Blue