Showing posts with label Laura Marling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laura Marling. Show all posts

Sunday 26 July 2020

Famous Gig Images


Now I attend and take photos at Celtic Connections festival each January. I’ve been so fortunate to take photos at some awesome gigs – from the intimate folk clubs, the open air festivals, the packed concert halls, the iconic Glasgow music venues. 

There is challenges at all, being unobtrusive at the small venues and dealing with lighting and other pit challenges at the bigger events. One of my first big outdoor event was the band Snowpatrol at Bellahouston Glasgow. It was a perfect sunny day and there is that adrenalin rush being at the front of the huge pumped crowd. 

At the SECC Glasgow we were lined up by the security and after a wait, we were led to the pit at the front of the stage. We stood there looking at the angles, the lighting, the stage and the audience. Photography is often about a lot of waiting, re-checking camera settings and being ready for the star's entrance. Suddenly Elton John appeared waving at the side of the stage. 

Oh i miss those live gigs, folk clubs and festivals! ... and hope they will return again one day very soon. 


Paul McCartney

Stevie Nicks

Laura Marling at the Old fruitmarket


Monday 6 March 2017


This year Celtic Connections music festival celebrated the contributions to music by women, with concerts this year by top women musicians – intimate Laura Marling, heart-warming Mary Chapin Carpenter, the star quality of Olivia Newton John and also the talent of, Beth Neilson Chapman, Eddi Reader and Julie Fowlis. Celtic Connections is the world's largest world, folk and roots music festival with over 2,000 musicians, 300 events, 20 venues.

My concerts this year also included rhythmic songwriter King Creosote, storyteller Rab Noakes and accomplished fiddler John McCusker. A special mention for Rose Code Blue’s concert at City halls, with his full band and as always some exciting new songs. Check him out!  Many of the most exciting younger folk musicians like to mix up the genres (cletic fusion) – King Creosote, C Duncan, Rose Code Blue. A prime example was Martyn Bennett who mixed the piping traditions with modern dance grooves to great effect.
Kathleen McInnes with Rab Noakes
John McCusker
I enjoyed a quality concert from Rab Noakes, when he sang both his classics (landmark songs) along with his more recent work – songs such as Gently Does It, I’m Walkin Here, Tramps and Immigrants. I remember singing his classics with other folk singers – Edens Flow, Clear Day, Together Forever, Branch. Happy Days! Noakes too mixes his Scottish roots and American influences.
Rab Noakes
Jim Lauderdale
Jerry Douglas
Music at Celtic Connections celebrates the benefits of our very diversity.
“One of the many true joys of CC is that within our tradition of Celtic music and international collaborations, we do not think about creative boundaries. Instead, we present on our stages some of the most brilliant musicians working today and explore the richness and diversity of the music we are celebrating.” Celtic Connections director Donald Shaw.

One of the joys of folk music is it live improvisation and collaboration. It is not about sheet music or the studio as much as sitting playing with others in a casual, relaxed way and the discovery old tunes and new. Its also about playing intimate, folk venues and clubs. Yes its about past a rich past tradition, but it also adds the new. As greats Burns, Yeats or Dylan knew and understood, artists need to build on the past and as Rab Noakes wrote , ‘A future with no past, has no future.’
John Paul White
Iona Fyfe
The climax of the festival is always the memorable Transatlantic Sessions concert, with its energetic Scottish tunes balanced with American rhythms. We left the Glasgow concert hall with the sounds of Scottish fiddles, American country, Trad and Gaelic ballads and engrossing rhythms, to take with us renewed into the winter night!

Next year Celtic will partner with Ireland. Many of Ireland's best musicians have performed at the festival – including Van Morrison, Clannad, Sharon Shannon, Karen Casey, Chieftains, Altan, Dervish, Damien Dempsey, Cara Dillon, more! Next year's festival promises to be a good one!

Showcase Scotland this year – C Duncan, Adam Holmes, Rachel Sermanni.

*BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2017 was won by fiddler Charlie Stewart. Other finalists included Dougie McCance (bagpipes), Ella Munro (Scots song), Grant McFarlan (accordion), Iona Fyfe (Scots song), Kim Cranie (Gaelic song).

*Danny Kyle Open Stage WINNERS (from 72 acts)
Doro Weber (drums) with the Magpies.
Marianne McGregor (Scottish singer songwriter),
An Dha ( English folk band), fiddle, cello)
Dope Sick Fly ( Scottish funk band)
Arocet ( Scottish trad )

“You have to be somebody before you can share yourself.” (online) Silcon valley apostate Jason Larnier
Laura Marling
Olivia Newton John
Julie Fowlis

Sunday 15 January 2017

CELTIC Connections Glasgow 2017!

I’m excited as this will be my tenth year anniversary covering Celtic Connections.! Hard to believe. Here are some of my strongest memories and personal favourites over my time at the festival.

One of my most memorable experiences at Celtic Connections festival is hearing the Gaelic songs – sung by the incomparable beauty of the voices of both Julie Fowlis or Karen Matheson. Also newcomer Mischa MacPherson. I don’t understand each word – but I understand the feelings and there is something expressive in Gaelic that comes over in a way that’s not possible in English. I remember taking to press director Hannah about newcomer singer songwriter Rachel Sermanni. She commented how important it was too to have the Gaelic singers as they were so popular.

Another top memory at Celtic is at the Old worldly atmospheric Old Fruitmarket venue, with its coloured fairy lights is the perfect setting for some of Scotland’s top ceillidh bands - Ceilidh Bands this year include – The Unusual Suspects, Manran, Session A9 and Shooglenity.
Celtic provides a platform for hearing quality indie artists and attracts a wide variety of talent and a music lover audience. I heard the top guitarist RM Hubbert and the very loud prog rock band Mogwai at the concert hall.

Naturally the festival hosts some of the best traditional Scottish singers and musicians - Dick Gaughan, Rod Paterson, Karen Matheson, Siobhan Miller. 

Every day at Celtic its enriching to visit the open mic at 5, which attracts top folk musicians world wide. I’ve heard many top musicians here and sometimes those artists who have gone on to win such as Karine Polwart, Rachel Sermanni, Manran, Genesee. 

Tricky one and its hard to choose. I have to mention the stand out GRIT opening concert 2015 of Martin Bennett’s class album with the full orchestra. A highly unforgettable experience! Martha Wainwright, who held the Fruitmarket audience with only her guitar, voice and songs. The Tribute concerts led by Rab Noakes for the great Scottish singer songwriters – Gerry Rafferty and Michael Marra. And of course the outstanding Transatlantic Sessions - for the musicianship of the band and the quality singers.
Karine Polwart
At Celtic Connections 2016, I enjoyed the concerts of The Chieftains, Lucinda Williams, Rachel Sermanni, Siobhan Wilson and especially the fun ceilidh bands of Rura and Blazin Fiddles. As usual the highlight was the classy accomplished musicianship of the Transatlantic band with the wonderful singers Rhiannon Giddens and Cara Dillon. 
Adam Holmes
**At Celtic 2017, they will focus on the half of the population often ignored – the women’s voices with the singers and musicians. The women care about home, children and mother earth. There is a story of a south American tribe where the women said, Stop, stop! – there is enough food and shelter and telling the men to stop hunting and killing. Some of the many outstanding women this year include - Laura Marling, Eddi Reader, Mary Chapman Carpenter, Alice Marra, Karine Polwart, Beth Neilson Chapman, Shirley Collins, Olivia Newton john, Roberta Sa 

This year I look forward the wonderful and often unexpected collaborations; Showcase Scotland; Celtic’s Educational Program. Celtic is one of the leading annual festivals of folk, world, and roots music – 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late sessions and a host of one-off musical collaborations. To the opening concert with Laura Marling and the RSNO.
Eddi Reader
Martha Wainwright
And not forgetting the men – Rab Noakes, Adam Holmes, King Creoste, Billy Bragg, Jerry Douglas and more.
I look forward to the Buzz of the festival – the gathering of like minded music fans and artists!

The festival will also celebrate the anniversary of the independence of Canada and India.  The festivals partner for this year is Brazil.
**This year also holds several major anniversaries.

Blazin Fiddles
Rab Noakes and Alice Marra

Thursday 27 October 2016

Celtic Connections announces its 2017 program today!

CELTIC CONNECTIONS 2017, from 19th January - 5th February 2017
The programme for Celtic Connections 2017 was announced Thursday 27th October by its Artistic Director, Donald Shaw.

This year Celtic Connection will celebrate women musicians with many one off concerts.  The Opening Concert will star award winning folk singer songwriter Laura Marling performing the world premiere of orchestrations of her songs by Kate St. John with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Other women performing are - Roberta Sá, Olivia Newton John, Beth Neilson Chapman, Karine Polwart, and legendary singer Shirley Collins are among other highlights.

The festival also focuses this year on artists who have lived through personal hardships and found success and strength in music - such as world music star Aziza Brahim who grew up in an Algerian refugee camp. Stars of Americana & Bluegrass will also be at the festival - Margo Price, St Paul & the Broken Bones, Darlingside, Hurray for the Riff Raff, the Mark O’ Connor Band and Calexico.  And travelling further down the path to explore connections between Scotland and the deep south of America, Jon Cleary and Dirk Powell will celebrate the Louisiana sound, inspired by Booker Prize winning author James Kelman’s Dirt Road.

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry will perform classic railroad songs featured on their album Shine A Light which was recorded on a four day journey by train across America. 

The core of Celtic Connections is always Traditional and Folk music and this year is delighted to include the popular fiddle super bands – such as La Banda Europa led by Jim Sutherland, Unusual Suspects, Session A9, Dallahan, top piping project Tryst, Ireland’s Sharon Shannon and Four Men & A Dog, Gaelic rockers  Manran and Phil Cunningham’s Highlands & Islands suite. Also Shooglenifty and guests come together for A Night for Angus, paying tribute to their inspirational fiddle player Angus R.Grant who so sadly passed away this month.

(This will be my 10th year shooting at Celtic Connections Glasgow, I am pleased to say! Over the years I have attended some of the best concerts and taken some of my top portfolio images at Celtic Connections. I enjoy the buzz, the unique collaborations, the friendly banter, the top quality instruments and musicianship, the late sessions and the exciting young artists, the moving Gaelic songs and perfect singers, the fun and foot-tapping ceilidh bands at the Fruitmarket, the musians that come from many other countries. I meet so many interesting music fans, photographers and folk musicians there. so Big Thanks to the Celtic Connections team for all their hard work each January!) 

The festival will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada with leading Canadian artists Martha Wainwright, Le Vent Du Nord, De Temps Antan and Russell deCarle. The 70th anniversary of the Partition of India will be marked with a premiere of leading world percussionists Trilok Gurtu & Evelyn Glennie and classical violin star Jayanthi Kumaresh.

Other artists appearing this year include - C Duncan, Pictish Trail, Fairport Convention, Liz Lochhead, Aidan Moffat, Seth Lakeman, Tom Paxton, King Creosote, Siobhan Miller, Orchestra Baobab, Robyn Stapleton, and Anna Meredith.

The festival will also host the important Showcase Scotland when musical directors and music promoters from around the world will attend performances by Scottish musicians. The concerts along with a trade fair provide invaluable opportunities for Scottish musicians to gain new worldwide opportunities thanks to this leading industry delegate event.  Plus Celtic Connections Education Programme when more than 11, 000 children across Scotland will take part in five concerts and workshops led by leading Celtic musicians. 

The Education Programme has reached more than 200,000 children across the country since it began in 1999.  Its work is supported by membership fees from the festival’s Celtic Rovers scheme – which gives discounts and exclusive experiences during Celtic Connections 2017.  The always popular programme of public workshops will give people of all ages and opportunities the chance during the festival to learn new musical skills and have fun too.
This year the festival includes The National Whisky Festival which will offer a wide range of whisky tastings and music hosted at the SWG3 venue, on Saturday 28 January 2017.

And to banish the winter chills the sunshine of Brazilian sounds the festival is pleased to celebrate Brazil as the partner country for 2017, with performances by some of the country’s leading artists including Hamilton De Holanda, Yamandu Costa and Renata Rosa – and Roberta Sá.

Donald Shaw, Artistic Director of Celtic Connections, said: “A breath-taking range of styles and traditions radiates throughout Celtic Connections 2017. Artists who have shaped the present day and artists who are re-defining music for the future will take to the stage. Artists whose lives and cultures could not be more different will come together to share their stories, passion and skill. “At the heart of it all is the simple life-affirming experience of being at a live music performance during a world leading festival. We can’t wait for Celtic Connections 2017 to begin.”

One hundred musicians from across the world will  take part in 300 events at venues in Glasgow, for one of the leading annual folk, world and roots festivals.  18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, free events, late night sessions and a host of special one-off musical collaborations will brighten up the winter evenings.   


Supported by Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland, and  promoted by Glasgow Life.