Showing posts with label Bellowhead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bellowhead. Show all posts

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Celtic Connections festival Review 2013

It’s always exciting when the Celtic program arrives each year – who are the big names, which big concerts are there, who is at which venue…
The Concert hall was quieter this year with no Open Mic or Late Sessions, due to renovations at the hall.

I missed
The Roaming Roots Revue of new indie artists. It would have been nice to have made more events, if that was only possible. I also missed the Big Burns Night. I never made the Old Fruitmarket venue which I love at Celtic – for some reason I was more excited by those performing at the ABC venue. 

A highlight this year was the concert for Dundee singer songwriter Dundee Michael Marra.
I have seen Marra live several times and he was such an engrossing and interesting artist. We were very saddened by his passing last November. Michael's two children Alice and Mathew Marra were perfoming with their band The Hazey Janes and I got a nice photo with three Scottish legends on stage together at this concert -  Dougie MacLean, Eddi Reader and Rab Noakes.  
Alice Marra
This year I saw English folk band Bellowhead and American singer songwriter Aimee Mann at the ABC O2;  Cara Dillon and The BBC Scottish Symphony orchestra at the City Halls;  and The Transatlantic Sessions at the Concert Hall; and also the Celtic Connections 20th Celebration concert with some of the cream from the Scottish folk scene - Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Phil Cunningham and Rod Paterson.

In the past few years I have seen several exciting new artists at Celtic – Manran, Rura, Rachel Sermanni, and this year I caught memorable singer Genesee at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. She was one of the winners in 2013.
There are several well known musical partnerhips/couples in the folk world – Donald Shaw and Karen Mathieson, Karine Polwart and Mattie Foulds, John McCusker and Heidi Talbot, Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman, Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal.,,, and more I am sure!
The festival Celtic Connections 2013 ran from Thursday 17th January – Sunday 3rd February and comprised concerts, ceilidhs, talks, workshops, free events and late night sessions taking place over 18 days in various venues across Glasgow -  Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, O2 ABC, The Tron, Òran Mór, The Arches, The Mitchell Theatre, City Halls, Kelvingrove, The Barrowland Ballroom, St Andrews in the Square and festival fans’ favourite the Old Fruitmarket all played host to Celtic Connections events.  

This is my sixth year covering Celtic Connections festival and now I am showing others where things are! I enjoy the buzz. It is also wonderful to have such excellent concerts at this cold time of year. It’s the ideal setting for musicians to get together to collaborate and I look forward to next years festival!

Thursday 7 February 2013

Bellowhead Celtic Connections 2013.

Bellowhead were great fun and exhilarating and great for photos. They are a ten-piece English contemporary folk band who did a show at the ABC 02 Glasgow during Celtic Connections 2013. The band includes a four-piece brass section and play many instruments between them. 

I met another photographer there who was shooting for the EFDS, the English Folk Dance and Song, an organization which was set up to promote English folk music. He said that Bellowhead started with the duo of Jon Boden and John Spiers. Speirs plays melodeon and concertina and Boden plays fiddle and guitar while he also stamps the rhythm on a stomp box. They brought in the other musicians to form a full band to help fill the gap in the market for a top quality English folk band. Their line up includes - Benji Kirkpatrick, Rachael McShane, Paul Sartin, Pete Flood, Brendan Kelly, Justin Thurgur, Andy Mellon and Giles Lewin.

They sang vocal harmonies on traditional folk songs as well as playing many jigs and reels of traditional country dance tunes and sea shanties. Their sound draws on a diversity of musical styles and influences – from the old English tunes Greensleeves and ‘Can You Dance the Polka’ and to a sound similar to the popular in the 70s English folk band, Steeleye Span. 
Jon Boden proved a naturally theatrical front man as he waved his arms wide and brought the audience with him. They were polished and energetic on stage and the band have won awards as the Best Live Act. The packed crowd of all ages were clearly up for a good night! I highly recommend the band for a fun night out and it was good to see a band making folk accessible for a younger audience. 
I did wonder why they weren’t playing at the more atmospheric and old world charm of the Old Fruitmarket venue Glasgow, which would have fitted their sound perfectly.  
Bellowhead have gathered several awards and recently the BBC Radio folk award for their 2012 album, Broadside, which made No.16 UK official album charts and number 1 in the UK independent album charts. Their previous album Hedonism went silver (selling over 60,000 copies) and is the highest selling independently released folk album ever.  The band developed a new ale to go along with their album release!  

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Kris Drever and Lau on Jools Holland

Kris Drever, Aidan O'Rourke and Lau on Jools Holland this week - it is good to see folk and indie music is alive and well! Folk/Blues Chart  - Mumford No 1. - plus Kate Rusby, Bellowhead, Paul Simon, Laura Marling, Chieftains, Neil Young. Good chart! : ))

Lau -
Kris Drever PHOTOS -