Showing posts with label Skerryvore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skerryvore. Show all posts

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Coastal Connections: at Celtic Connections Festival 2020



This new festival within a festival proved a highly successful and sold-out event. For the price of a ticket, we were given a wristband as access to musical performances of the highest calibre, celebrating Scotland’s vast coastlines and many islands.

The festival was held over the concert halls several spaces – the main auditorium, exhibition hall, Buchannan suite, and Strathclyde suite. The main event took place in a more relaxed setting in the main hall, with tables and chairs set up in the front area. All this proved ideal for families and for dancing. 



Some of the festivals top ceilidh bands took part – 
From north Uist we were treated to the perfect voice of Julie Fowlis along with Eamon Doorley, Zoe Conway and John McIntyre. Diamh from the Hebrides, proved a strong presence with accomplished musicians and with lead singer, Ellen MacDonald
Capercaillie from Oban, were the ultimate professionals: a band with strong tunes with contemporary rhythms led by
 accordion player and festival director Donald Shaw and with the moving Gaelic voice of Karen Matheson. Tiree-based Skerryvore are a powerhouse ceilidh band led by pipes and song, and they lit up the final show here. 



The more intimate spaces musicians included  - Orkney bands Gnoss and Fara; fiddler Gillian Frame from Arran; Ceol Nan Eilean from Benbecula; from Cape Breton Miller, MacDonald, Cormier and Feis Rois with John Somerville’s Voyage of the Hector; Esther Swift’s The Flood; from Lochaber Ingrid Henderson, Anna and Mairearad from the Black Isle. 






There were also art displays and musical instruments on show. I thought there might have been more coastal signage or art displays. There certainly are many outstanding photographers who shoot powerful images of Scotland’s incredible coastlines, perhaps a display for another day.

I’ve been fortunate myself to visit Scotland’s islands recently and the north coast. If the weather is kind ( as it is in may or the autumn) there is nothing to surpass the wildness, the subtle, shifting light, blinding wind or thunderous waves or perfect white sands.

(photos from north Uist nature reserve, Scarra Brae Orkney, North Coast 500


The festival had a dramatic opening spectacle with STORM, a 10m high sun goddess STORM made of driftwood by Edinburgh’s Vision Mechanics to celebrate our seas. Her voice the chorus of the waves to celebrate our seas, care of our coastlines and to put our environment first – she made her journey from the Clyde to the Glasgow concert hall.

Friday, 9 January 2015

*CELTIC CONNECTIONS 2015!

Transatlantic Sessions
Fred Morrison
Julie Fowlis
CELTIC CONNECTIONS 2015 starts next week on 15th January!

Celtic is one of the music highlights of the Scottish calendar, with many top musicians worldwide and such interesting collaborations. Celtic is the world biggest folk music festival - with over 2000 performers, 300 shows, over 18 days and 20 venues.

Van Morrison is the biggest name this year.
Other highlights include, Fairport Convention, Eddi Reader, King Creosote, Skerryvore, Roaming Roots Revue, Braebach and more.

The main concerts are held at the festival.s centre, The Glasgow Concert Hall, which will host many of the bigger names and concerts;

Glasgow Concert Hall
The Opening concert will feature the music of Scottish composer Martin Bennett's Grit album with the full orchestra.

There is a tribute concert to celebrated songwriter and folk legend Ewan MacColl (1915 - 1989) hosted by his sons Calum and Neill - with Dick Gaughan, Martin Carthy, Karine Polwart, Jarvis Cocker and Eliza Carthy.

A show of the award winning Hollywood composer Craig Armstrong new album it's Nearly Tomorrow with singers Paul Buchanan, and Brett Anderson. His cinema scores include Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet.

Other highlights include - Fairport Convention, Eddi Reader, King Creosote, and world music with the exuberant soul of African singer Angelique Kidjo and the Scottish National Orchetra.
And of course the sold out Transatlantic Sessions with top musicians form Scotland and America joining forces – led by fiddler Aly Bain and dubro player Jerry Douglas. 
Nicola Benedetti
Rab Noakes
The Old Fruitmarket often hosts fun celeidh bands; The City Halls for seated concerts; The O2 ABC Sauchiehall street for some of the younger indie bands. The Oran Mor and St Andrews on the Square will hold smaller concerts – which can also be outstanding events with creative and top artists. You can check the festival’s online brochure for more details. http://www.celticconnections.com/
Angelique Kidjo

It is also well worth checking out the open mics at the Danny Kyle stage for new talent and also the Late Sessions which so many of the performers turn up for.

 Celtic Connections 2015  - 'music that is personal and unique'. Music that holds hundreds of stories like the big old tree.  http://www.celticconnections.com/