Showing posts with label 2008. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2008. Show all posts

Tuesday 31 January 2023

Celtic Connections memories


Capercaillie 2008
Opening night 2008

Opening night 2023 at Glasgow concert hall. I see young Gaelic singer Kim Carnie walking past with her newly straightened hair, and Liz Clark who hosts the Danny Kyle stage deep in conversation. She has asked to use a photo of mine of the Celtic radio website. I enter the VIP room, normally the press office and chat with Hannah. I remember meeting Dick Gaughan waiting outside here when I asked him what songs he’d be singing for the concert. He’s so honest and down-to-earth. 

Karen Matheson

The baton is being past now to the new generation of folk musicians, while popular festival stalwarts are still here – Karine Polwart, Anna Massie, Michael McGoldrick, Donald Shaw, drummer James Mackintosh – who reminisce on their very first Celtic Connections concert. My first cc was opening night 2008, Transatlantic Sessions and Capercaillie old Fruitmerket. 

I grew up with radio, recorded music and also theatre and piano tunes. Later I first encountered the joy of live folk clubs and festivals – it offers a rich intimacy, joy, poignancy and immediacy, that I had not encountered before. 


Nicola Benedetti

Celtic has taken the intimacy of live folk to a bigger stage and broader audience. The festival explores quality musicianship and singers, diverse collaborations and the ever popular lively ceilidh bands. 

The festival’s foundations and roots are Celtic folk and Gaelic, while at the same time they embrace other Celtic world roots music and look forwards. 


As Noakes once wrote after my comment “the best music is timeless” – “No the best music is very much of its time.” And “a present with no past has no future.” 

Our sad recent loss of folk legend Rab Noakes – his music lives on!


CELTIC CONNECTIONS archive 2008 – 2023. Photos Pauline Keightley -


Karine Polwart

Jerry Holland

Wednesday 30 December 2009


I was reading that the Edinburgh festival is short on cash and may not do a fringe Sunday in the meadows this year, and they also lack a headline sponsor. . There was a big Ticket Box Office problem last year with the new online system messing up ticket sales. I went directly to the venues for my tickets.
THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (EIF) was begun to pick peoples spirits up after the Second World War. We headed over this year on the Friday to the Pleasance venue to see some comedians up from England.

Tuesday 29 December 2009

The Martians - “THE SPIRIT OF THE FRINGE” 2008

Edinburgh Festival ‘GREYFRIARS TWISTED TALES’ August 2008
The Martians - winners of “THE SPIRIT OF THE FRINGE” 2008.
‘ Great fun… These boys have a great future .... The Martians have landed.’ Scotsman 'Consistently funny and with quality songwriting, this fast paced madness was pure entertainment' 5 stars Three Weeks. ‘Such catchy tunes that I have stuck in my head, full of fast paced delicious dry humour and clever (twisted!) takes on human foibles and superstitions, love of dogs and Scotland! ..and the Mary Poppins meets Hitler sketch, a pure musical Monty Python!’ 5 star reviews!

The Kielty Brothers and Houston performed at Edinburgh festival with their most professional show so far. They have the backing of Carole Metcalfe of the Bridewell theatre company.

Hobopop Collective Tall Ship 2008

Kirsty McGee & Mat Martin (Karine Polwart & Inge Thomson supporting) Tall Ship 8th June 2008.
The gig had a calm feel good vibe. These artists are soul-warming and moving. Mat kindly invited me to this gig months ago – it seems odd it has rolled around now. I had a magical evening…
On the most perfect June day - I made my way to the Tall Ship that sits on the River Clyde