Showing posts with label Lau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lau. Show all posts

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Celtic Connections 2016!

This year Celtic will welcome again any international artists from – Inner Mongolia to Armagh, Senegal to Italy, and Brittany to the Outer Hebrides to Southern Manitoba will perform at the festival in 2016 Celtic Connections remains a hotbed of musical talent from cultures and countries from across the globe. 

One of the main focuses of Celtic Connections festival is bringing different voices together form across continents and oceans as well as exploring our roots and identity  Celtic also brings together the different generations through music - with older and contemporary sounds and how today's most innovative and experimental bands draw on traditional roots.  .

This year's opening concerts celebrates the TSMA's 50th anniversary which encourages Scottish traditional song with musical director Siobhan Miller - and with a star line up that includes - Arthur Johnstone, Sheena Wellington, Jimmy Hutchison, Barbara Dickson, Shepheard, Spiers & Watson, Kris Drever, Adam McNaughton, Mischa Macpherson and Malinky.   
TSMA mission was to support authenticity in Scotland's song smiths, musianship and tradition  - in opposition to the twee commercialism of a simplistic tartan shortbread music hall sound. To celebrate the ancient muckle songs to the 21st century originals.

The Chieftains, along with other Irish musicians will celebrate the100 year anniversary of Irelands Easter Rising which included (as in Scotland) a cultural re-wakening by poets, writers composers and artists - an artistic renaissance in song, literature, theatre and journalism. 15th Jan Concert hall.  
Dick Gaughan and Karine Polwart

Topics of Migration - is a concert of Joni Mitchell songs - the Pilgrimer - which will re-imagines Joni's classic 1976 album Hegira with singers Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis and more. The album tells of migration while Joni drove solo from Miami to LA - expressing both the freedom and loneliness of the road.  Pilgrimer by author James Robertson adapts the album to a Scottish setting.  16th Jan Concert hall.
Ballads of Child Migration concert with Barbara Dickson, Eddi Reader, Kris Drever, Boo Hewerdine. Between 1850 and 1970 more than 1000,000 children were shipped under government schemes to colonies and were exploited. 19th Jan Concert hall
Highlights this year include - the Chieftians, Lau, John Grant, Lucinda Williams, Robert Plant, Karine Polwart, Rickie Lee Jones, Boys of the Lough. 

I have been taking photos at Celtic Connections since 2008. When I look at my Celtic Connections photos - one thing stands out – the fun and joy of music and the collaborations of those taking part during the 18 day festival.

Opening concert for Martyn Bennett

The main venue is the Glasgow Concert hall - other venues include, the Old Fruitmarket, 02 ABC, Oran Mor, Tron, City Hall, St Andrews, Piping centre,
From Thursday 14 to Sunday 31 January, 2,500 musicians from around the world will gather in Glasgow for 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late night sessions and a host of special one-off musical collaborations. 
Stars of world, folk and roots music, who will perform on 26 stages at venues across the city,

Thursday 6 February 2014

Lau Glasgow City Halls Celtic Connections 2014

The stage at the City Halls was set with a line of glowing lights and the sign on Martin Green's keyboards, which was set on it's side, proclaimed 'I Love The NHS'. Lau of course is an Orcadian word that means 'natural light.' 

Lau are an award-winning folk band who have been gaining attention last year for their music of traditional folk voices and traditional folk song themes mixed with contemporary influences. They played on the BBCs Jools Holland show in 2012. The band are - respected singer songwriter and guitarist Kris Drever, acclaimed fiddler Aidan O’Rourke and an innovative accordionist Martin Green.  

They played mostly instrumental tunes and also some songs. Kris sang with his warm voice the songs Ghost and Midnight Feast.  Martin said their Ghost EP was about social migration and documented how we are stronger through our diversity.  

During the concert tonight Lau played one of the first performances for the UK's first New Music Biennial as part of Glasgow 2014 Events - 'The Bell That Never Rang.' 
The piece was commissioned by Celtic Connections and PRSF and composed and performed along with the contemporary experimental strings of the Elysian Quartet.  The music was carried through with Drever’s subtle guitar, while the layering textures and challenge of Lau’s traditional folk sound worked perfectly with the classical musicians.

Kris often leans forward on his guitar and they pull their energies together. Aidan is a powerful fiddler who moves a lot as he plays. While Martin experiments with varied soundscapes, and on one tune he played the soothing sounds of the sea

Lau are an experimental outfit and also work on Lau-land mini festivals and on other collaborations and they are taking folk in new directions and crossing boundaries with their music.
Quote Aidan O'Rourke on Lau's website - the band's music makes excursions into jazz, world, Gaelic and classical music and fiddling to the fore of another magnificent supergroup, Kan. “We’re folk musicians but firstly we’re musicians with a love of different styles and we don’t think we’re cheating on anybody by drawing on that. We all love and play a wide range of music but what we have in common is a deep love of hardcore traditional music.”
They were well supported by Canadian Annabelle Chvostek, who was previously with the Wailin Jennys. She had a silky soft-toned voice and played country folk tunes with echoing violin and electric bass.    

I saw several other faces from the Scottish music scene at the concert, such as Louis Abbot of Admiral Fallow (Lau supported his band at the Queens Hall Edinburgh last year).
The event was preceded at the City Halls by the press launch for the UK's first New Music Biennial as part of Glasgow 2014 Events. (funded by PRSF for music)

Wednesday 5 February 2014

New Music Biennial

Lau at the City Hall's premier
New Music Biennial
There was a press launch at the Glasgow City Halls 30th January for the Premiere of 'The Bell That Never Rang' by Lau w/ Elysian Quartet.

The event was funded by PRSF For Music for the UK's first New Music Biennial as part of the Glasgow 2014 program.  It consists of 20 pieces of music from composers and performers across the UK which have been inspired by an international collaboration of idea. 
All the new pieces will be performed at two showcases over one weekend - one at London's Southbank Centre (4-6 July) and Glasgow Concert Halls (1-2 August). These performances will also be available to listen to on BBC Radio 3.  
Aims - To explore the connections between audiences and artist and to take art to new places and new audiences.
The projects are also about how people view Scotland - how people see us, what we value. 

The launch was presented by Vanessa Reid - Executive Director PRS for Music Foundation, who praised Glasgow’s creative spirit and commented that the city never tires of experimenting. 
oundation, who praised Glasgow’s creative spirit and commented that the city never tires of experimenting. 

Thursday 23 January 2014

Roaming Roots Revue Celtic Connections 2014

I was at a Laurel Canyon concert Sunday, such great songs came out of this era – and this concert was about the young people keeping this groove alive today….

The concert was a journey through the California sounds of Laurel Canyon with some of the newer Scottish and American artists along with those summer breezes -  both nostalgia and looking forward and proved a real treat for both aging hippies and younger fans!
Forty years ago in the early 1970s when the music in New York became too corporate, many young musicians seeking artistic freedoms and sunshine took off for LA – The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jackson Browne. It was a time of longer hair and flowing skirts, peace signs and flower power dreams. I chose this concert because last years inaugural event received top reviews and also because the early 70s produced so many top albums  and some of my all time favourite sounds.
Scottish singer songwriter Roddy Hart and his quality band The Lonesome Fire opened this colourful and varied concert with the Byrd's song So You Want to Be A Rock n Roll Star.

Idlewild front man Roddy Woomble sang Neil Young’s Out On The Weekend and then a sons written by himself and Roddy Hart, Love Steals Us From Lonliness. Next James Taylor and Joni Mitchell look-alikes and sound-a-likes Zervas and Pepper performed Ghost Writer and Mitchell’s Woodstock. After which respected folk band Lau with Kris Drever on vocals, performed James Taylor’s Fire and Rain
The beautiful Webb Sisters sang their close subtle harmonies on  Everything Changes and Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel. Then Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire were joined on stage by lead man from California’s The Dawes for an excellent rendition of Jackson Browne’s After The Deluge. Frank Reader then sang a moving interpretation of a Judee Sill song, The Kiss. A treat to end the first half was a return of Cory Chisel and Adriel Harris, who both looked and sounded the part in casual American style and they sang Times Won’t Change and the Eagles Hotel California.

Second Half. Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire began with a rocking version of Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty. A highlight was dramatic American country singer Lindi Ortega with her song Cigarettes and Truckstop and the Eagles Desperado. After which we had new and top Scottish trio, Clark, Mitchell, Reilly, with Helpless (CSNY). Young Glasgow singer songwriter Siobhan Wilson sang her song All Dressed Up and then, with Tommy Reilly on piano, one of my all time favourite songs, A Case of You, with a beauty of voice and interpretation that captured the essence of the song and held the audience silent.  
The Webb Sisters sang Judee Sill’s song Jesus Was A Crossmaker, followed by Roddy Woomble and Lau with Roll Um Easy (Little Feat). An LA band The Dawes were another highlight with their songs Most People, A Little Bit Of Everything and Desperados Under The Eaves (Warren Zevon) plus an encore. Hart is clearly both a Jackson Browne and Dawes fan!

The cast of players finished on stage with some of Laurel Canyon’s biggest hits – Love The One Your With (Stephen Stills), Take It Easy (The Eagles) and California Dreaming (The Mamas and The Papas).
Quote Rolling Stone – 'It's about the vibe man and free jamming … Goldberg.‘ They want to be loose.. to have the freedom to groove their own groove.’    Photos and Review Pauline Keightley -

Roddy Hart has pulled together and compared another top quality concert that offered the audience breadth, diversity and quality. Hart also organised Celtic’s "Forever Young: A 70th Birthday Tribute To Bob Dylan" Celtic Connections 2011, and were house band for Gerry Rafferty concert (2012) broadcast on BBC 2 Scotland. The concert drew on Celtic festival’s success with melding American and Scottish sounds to offer interesting cross overs and highlight the links between the Celtic music of the British Isles and the American States. -

Monday 4 March 2013

Kris Drever and Eammon Coyne Milngavie Folk Club

When Irish and Scots folk blend something fun and very unique happens. Both Kris and Eammon are very personable and with their easy manner put their packed audience at ease when they began their set with some energising tunes.  

Eammon is an accomplished banjo player from Dublin who has played with many well known Irish folk players and now lives in Edinburgh. I noticed Eammon first with Salsa Celtica and I noticed how much he enjoyed himself on stage.
Kris Drever
 Eammon Coyne
Kris is from Orkney and he is one of the most popular contemporary Scots folk singers. Drever originally played with the ceilidh band Session A9.  He was persuaded by John McCusker to record his own solo material and he released his debut album ‘Black Water’ to good reviews in 2006. He has worked with some of the top Scottish folk musicians and toured with Kate Rusby’s band.

They played a excellent selection of tunes and folk ballads. I particularly enjoyed Drever’s own composition Steel and Stone and we sang along to the Tannahill Weaver’s fine song Farewell to Fuinery Drever also sang the Burn’s song Parcel of Rogues to the Nation to good effect

Their tunes and reels were very well played and full of character. Kris has a fine voice and he performs quality songs. The music is an interesting mix of their own compositions and traditional folk and country influences. In 2007 Coyne released a cd with Kris Drever called ‘Honk Toot Suite’ and is worth checking out. 

SET  ( I read this set list upside down so I hope it is correct!)
Call and Answer/ Isle of France/ La Bestai/ Wild Hurricane/ Harvest/ Poor Mans Son
II Mthe/ Mazurka/ Crown of London/ Parcel of Rogues/ Twenty Quid/ Black Water/ Shady Grove/ Steel and Stone/ Farewell to Fuinery Honk Toot Suite.
I’ve seen Kris a few times before at Celtic Connections festival and at the folk club and I thought this gig was a step on with both Kris’s performance and Coyne providing colourful playing. I would perhaps have enjoyed hearing more chat about the songs. I also preferred his new look longer hair! 

When he moved from Orkney Drever started out playing at Sandy Bells Edinburgh, a place I have very fond memories of. Drever also plays with the band Lau with Martin Green and Aidan O'Rourke, and they performed on Jools Holland last year.  They prove to be one of the most promising new folk music collaborations.
Kris Drever PHOTOS -

Friday 11 January 2013

Scottish Music 2012

Emeli Sande Albert Hall
There is a vibrant and creative vibe in Scottish music right now as it mixes Celtic traditions with innovative and challenging newer styles of musical rhythms and structures and recording techniques. There are healthy ground roots in its major city’s with many city centre small venues for live music.

There are also several major music festivals held in Scotland each year -
T in the Park, Celtic Connections, Rockness, Belladrum, Edinburgh, (plus many folk festivals

Scottish music is in a very good place. I attend Celtic each year where they have three weeks of open mic sessions and competitions and the festival has many interesting collaborations and musicians attending worldwide. I saw Rachel Sermanni there a few years back.  

Emeli Sande. The biggest breakthrough artist in the UK in 2012 was Scottish singer songwriter Emeli Sande. Emeli Sandé is a Scottish recording artist and songwriter. Sandé first became known to the public eye after she featured on rapper Chipmunk’s, “Diamond Rings” which entered the UK top Ten Singles chart. Also a top ten hit with Wiley’s “Never Be Your Woman. Simon Cowell called Sandé "his favourite songwriter at the minute". In 2012 she received the Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award. She has written for a number of artists, including Susan Boyle, Rihanna, Gabriella, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, Tinie Tempah, Cheryl Cole. In 2010, she signed a publishing deal with EMI. She later announced that Virgin had given her a record deal. Sandé released her first solo single "Heaven" in August 2011. Sandé has had three number-one singles across the UK and Ireland with "Read All About It" with Professor Green, "Next To Me" and "Beneath Your Beautiful" a collaboration with Labrinth.
Her album Our Version of Events made number one in the UK in February 2012 and became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, with over 1m sales. 

In the first month of 2013 there will be new album releases from Scottish rock bands Frightened Rabbit and Biffy Clyro.
Karine Polwart
New Scottish albums 2012 
Karine Polwart (Traces ) Lau (Race the Loser) Admiral Fallow (Tree Bursts in Snow)
Plus album releases from Errors, Twilight Sad, Rachel Sermanni, Kassidy, Unwinding Hours.

Scottish record labels
Chemikal Underground, Greentrax, Electric Honey, Optimo,

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 -