Showing posts with label Barbara Dickson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barbara Dickson. Show all posts

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Opening concert 'Carrying the Stream' at Celtic Connections 2016

Siohban Miller

An enriching poignant concert with depth and traditional roots. 
The opening concert for Celtic Connections 2016 celebrated the 50th anniversary of Scotland’s Traditional Music and Song Association. An early TMSA statement was to , champion “Scotland’s authentic tradition-bearers” against over-commercialism and dilution -  to keep the thread of Scottish traditional music flowing and secure traditional song’s place in Scottish music.

The show began with a uplifting pipes of the National Youth Pipe band of Scotland. Along with Scottish stars and greats of the Scottish music scene - Barbara Dickson, Sheena Wellington, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham - there were seven unaccompanied traditional songs -  performed by Adam McNaughton, Thomas McCarthy, Arthur Johnston, Brain Miller, Pete Shepherd, Tom Spiers, Arthur Watson, Jim Taylor, Joe Aitkin, Geordie Murison, Jimmy Hutchison.  
Adam McNaughton
National Youth Pipe band of Scotland
There was also up-and-coming new stars - the haunting Gaelic singer Misha Macpherson, a talented Feis Rois, memorable singer Shona Donaldson, story-telling American Rayna Gilbert, popular musician Kris Drever and the show's musical director Siohban Miller.  

With such a high calibre of performers it is hard to select only a few highlights. The concert ended well on several high notes with Sheena Wellingtons' A Mans a Man,the poignant fiddle of Aly Bain and a powerful Malinky. For the rousing finale led by political singer Arthur Johnstone and with all the singers onstage, we were treated to Hamish Henderson's Freedom Come All Ye.  

Out in the concert hall foyer were wonderful models of three stalwarts of Scottish traditional music scene - Davy Stewart, Hamish Henderson, Sheila Stewart.
I thought more stories and information on the TSMA, songs and singers would have worked well, while the show was well compared.  

While the concert was heavily about the traditions, it also embraced the future. A very special motion to a top quality house band  - Euan Burton, Anna Massie, Aaron Jones, Tom Gibbs, John Blease and Megan Henderson.

There was a mention of the Land Reform Bills before the Scottish parliament - so that our land can be inhabited the way Norway is. I thought how wonderful that people feel they can express how they feel about things without fear...

Celtic Connections will showcase some of the worlds leading trad, folk and world music artists.  Oh I do miss these kinds of gigs!   

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Music 2014

Rab Noakes and Barbara Dickson
I continue as ever really excited about music, both new and old. My son sings in an aberpella choir, which he enjoys. He sings those bass rhythms and also solos. This year I saw some of my favourite Scottish folk artists - Barbara Dickson, Rab Noakes and Dick Gaughan.   

I enjoyed great musicianship at Celtic 2014 - Nicola Benedetti, Del Amitri, Jerry Douglas, Aly Bain, Dougie McLean, Capercaillie, Mogwai and more.  I look forward to Celtic 2015, one of the highlights of my year. 

 I also enjoyed younger artists including Head and Heart and Lyla Foye There have been some fun new albums this year  - Mary Chapman Carpenter, Sarah McLachlan, White Denim, Head and Heart, King Creosote.  
Yet another strong female singer songwriter Ella, has secured big hits (oddly an X factor finalist how was voted off in the early rounds!).  

Eighties icon Kate Bush returned with 30 sell out shows in September at the Apollo Hammersmith London. She is one of the most celebrated English singer songwriters. Kate Bush has always followed her muse entirely and so to expect anything less from her first shows in three decades is to not really understand what motivates her as an artist. 
 'Don't you think art is a tremendous sensual-sexual expression? I feel that energy often.. the driving force! ' 'The most important thing for me is that its interesting from a creative point of view. Then I feel totally fulfilled as an artist and I can move on.'  

One Direction became one of the biggest bands ever worldwide. Pharrell Williams gave us the most popular song for a while with his upbeat Happy. Some memorable songs this year – Ghost (Ella), Royals (Lorde), Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay), No Place I’d Rather Be. 
Del Amitri
Some exciting new Scottish artists include – Chvrches, RM Hubbert, Lau, Frightened Rabbit, Aidan Moffat, King Creoste, Withered Hand, Paolo Nutini, Frightened Rabbit, Biffy Clyro, Belle and Sebastian. 

Independent Record Label Linn Records, Glasgow, have secured Grammy nominations for outstanding recording quality. Linn Records was started in 1982 -

 Folk music is alive and very well in Scotland. Celtic Connections goes from strength to strength with both young and older artists – it’s a highlight of my year in cold January skies – with brilliant musicianship, dynamic collaborations, beautiful Gaelic singers, haunting pipes, strong guitars, melodic fiddles, energetic ceilidh bands, charged bass and percussion - the vibe is heart warming and uplifting.
 Many Celtic concerts goers attend every year for the weeks and weekend. I meet people from far away San Francisco, southern Ireland, north of England, cultured Paris and much more. The audiences at Celtic are packed with serious music fans – which creates an informed, generous and appreciative vibe at the concerts.
There is also a great deal behind the main stage, - music workshops, open mic stages for new comers, late sessions which are great fun, as well as the festival club itself. The festival days and nights are a welcome feast for music fans.

In October 2010 at the annual Gramophone Awards, Linn was named Label of the Year. For Linn, winning this prestigious award was the culmination of nearly three decades of work, and represents the dedication of a team striving to give the you the best music, with no compromises on quality or support of our artists. 
With a Studio Master, you get to hear more of the music. It's the closest we can get to capturing the artist's original performance. In fact, it's recorded with such accuracy that you'd think the artist was performing in your room

 PS  Concert Hall Steps
 The top of Buchanan Street offer striking vistas and important civic space for shoes photo shoots, for political gatherings, for sunny lunchtimes, happy buskers, concert goers, tourists and students and more. The Glasgow council in their ignorance, wants to take away the steps and instead put up a large glass atrium like you would see in any other nameless city or shopping mall. I was shocked and saddened when I heard this, Please protest against

Monday 26 May 2014

Rab Noakes and Barbara Dickson Milngavie Folk club May 2014

Songs by Rab, songs by Barbara. Songs together.
Rab and Barbara gave us a real treat with a showcase gig of their favourite songs. They both looked well and clearly enjoyed sharing the stage together.
Rab looked smart in a dark checked suit while Barbara was glamorous. They spoke of how they met in the 60s at Sandy Bells bar Edinburgh. 

First they performed duet songs - Rab's Don’t Say Money Doesn’t Matter; James Taylor’s ‘Something’s Wrong; an Archie Fisher song Years of Rage and as they are both Everly Brothers fans they performed their song Sleepless Nights. 

We were then given alternate solos by Barbara and Rab.
We heard some of Rab’s excellent and well crafted songs, such as his song for Gerry Rafferty No More Time. Rab said he first met Gerald at Billy Connolly’s house, when they were in the band Stealers Wheel together. Rab also performed I’m Walking Here from his new album and the murder ballad, The Two Sisters. Noakes sang a Dylan cover and as he is a big Dylan fan he is rather excellent at doing Dylan.

To my delight Rab performed his well remembered ‘Branch’ which received good radio airplay and that he performed a few years back now on the Old Grey Whistle Test. I’ve seen Rab live a few times and this was the first time have heard the song live! 

Barbara sang a haunting song by Charlie Dewar, The Same Sky and a very charming rendition of one of those beautiful story folk ballads, the classic Scottish love song Rigs O Rye (which are like little treasures). She spoke of her first working with the folk legend Archie Fisher and of her shirt boxes of songs. 
Rab always includes an older song and they finished the set with the poignant Doris Day song Que Sera Sera with us all singing along.  
For their Encore Barbara sang her hit song Caravan ( I still have it in my head too!) and a Doug and Phil song, Long Time Gone.

Barbara has a poignant, beautiful timbre in her voice. The combination of Rab and Barbara's different styles and voices worked well and it was obvious they have a mutual respect for each other. The two performers know their roots and are comfortable in their own skins. They gave us textures and shadows, subtle tender and truthful messages and tones, that both helped to sooth and uplift.
Their 'Reunited' Ep April 2014 has a raw acoustic live feel, and such good songs. Reminds me a bit of 'Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris' dueting together -

They were very well supported by Edwina Hayes form Yorkshire, who gave us funny stories and had a clear lovely vocal. She sang a Richard Thompson song and a song she had co-written with Boo Heredine, as well as her own songs.    

Big thanks to Jason, who because he cares passionately about music and particularly about folk music, runs a successful folk club. And congratulations for this his tenth year! 

Set LIst
Do Right Woman
Dont' Say Money Doesn't Matter
Two Sisters
No More Time
As Wise as a Serpent
The Same Sky
I'm Walkin Here
Rigs O Rye
Tears of Rage
Sleepless nights
Que sera sera
 Barbara Dickson is a Scottish singer whose hits include “Caravan”, "I Know Him So Well" (a duet with Elaine Page) and "January February". Dickson has had 15 albums in the UK Albums Chart from 1977 to date, and had a number of hit singles. She has been described her as Scotland's best-selling female singer in terms of the numbers of hit chart singles and albums.  She has also performed in  many West end musicals on and tv and is a two-time Olivier Award-winning actress, Dickson's singing career started in folk clubs around her native Fife in 1964. Her first commercial recording was in 1968. Her early work included albums with Archie Fisher, the first of which, The Fate O' Charlie, a collection of songs from the Jacobite rebellions, was released in 1969. Her first solo album was Do Right Woman in 1970

This beautiful Scottish love song has long been popular with thirty-five versions in the Greig-Duncan collection. The earliest record of the song may be a chapbook with the title Ridges of Rye printed in Glasgow by J. & M. Robertson in 1799.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Bring It All Home Festival

Martha Rafferty and Rab Noakes

A new festival being held in Paisley to celebrate the life and songs of world renowned Paisley born singer songwriter Gerry Rafferty.

15th - 19th April 2014
On what would have been Rafferty's 67th birthday the highlight concert is the sold out Bring it All Home, Gerry Rafferty concert -  a celebration of the music of one of Paisley’s most famous sons, Gerry Rafferty and featuring his popular  and lesser-known works and also never-before performed pieces, and also with songs especially arranged for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

This concert will differ from the hugely successful 2012 Bring It All Home concert at Celtic Connections. Instead of the full band there will be the RSNO and different songs are being performed. Rather than the full band version Rab Noakes will sing the song 'Baker Street' stripped back with only his guitar.
The show will be hosted by Martha Rafferty and produced by his friend and collaborator Rab Noakes.  Noakes has released over 20 albums and been described as ‘one of Scotland’s finest songsmiths’;
Martha Rafferty
Other artists performing are: Barbara Dickson, a platinum selling Scottish singer, she was awarded an OBE in 2002 for her services to music and drama. She has recently released her 25th studio album, To Each and Everyone; The Songs of Gerry Rafferty. Eddi Reader – another best selling Scottish singer, she began her career as the singer with Fairground Attraction and their chart-topping single Perfect. She has just released her 10th album, Vagabond. Roddy Hart – Glasgow songwriter, who has released a recent album with the band The Lonesome Fire. He curates the acclaimed Roaming Roots Revue at Celtic Connections and hosts a BBC Radio Scotland show. Siobhan Wilson – Scottish singer who spent several years studying music in Edinburgh and Paris and now based in Glasgow. Emma Pollock – a Scottish singer-songwriter known as part of the The Delgados, The Burns Unit and The Fruit Tree Foundation. 

I attended the Bring It All Home at Celtic 2012 and it was a wonderful night that included The Proclaimers and many other well known Scottish artists.
Here’s what I wrote then - Noakes gave the glue and character to the show with his stories about Gerry, the Humblebums, late night travels and more. He spoke of Rafferty’s intelligence and of his love of harmony; of his spiritual side and of his strong will and self belief. He spoke of the poignancy yet hard core centre of Rafferty’s songs. I'm still singing Rafferty songs two weeks later!
Rafferty’s songs cover the full spectrum of emotions - they express full-on-energy, questioning cynicism and mystical spiritualism. He was from Paisley and his music gave the folk song a new voice. He cared about the craft of the song and not celebrity or its trimmings. He was an artist in the true sense of the word and had a rare clarity of artistic vision. A wonderful celebration of one of Scotland’s greatest ever singer songwriters that did Gerry proud and a highlight of this years Celtic Connections.

The festival also hosts many other events showcasing the breadth and quality of Scottish artists, such as a songwriting night hosted by Hamish Stuart, John Grant and Midge Ure.

Details of events here -