Showing posts with label concert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label concert. Show all posts

Saturday 3 February 2024

Ciaran Ryan Celtic Connections 2024



   

Ciaran Ryan played at the Old Fruitmarket, as part of Celtic Connections 2024, when he supported Kinnaris. 

Ryan is a dynamic, high energy player. He is a Scottish tenor banjo player, one of the UKs top players and a founding member of folk band Dallahan, His second solo album, Occupational Hazards, was released 2024. 

 







Wednesday 31 January 2024

Kinnaris Quintet PHOTOS at Celtic Connections 2024

Electrifying, genre-bending and joyous!

 

Kinnaris consists of five accomplished musicians - Jenn Butterworth on guitar, Aileen Reid on fiddle, Fiona MacAskill on fiddle, Laura-Beth on mandolin, and Laura Wilkie on fiddle. 

 

The all female band sparkled on the Old Fruimarket stage! And the packed audience, with many well dressed female fans, were ready to party. This is as far from the decades old folk image of arran sweaters as we might choose to get! 

 

Their set was begun with a toe-tapping tune This Too – after which the band were joined on stage by the ever-popular Celtic Connections singers Julie Fowlis and Karine Polwart with a rousing Emeli Sande song, Read All About It and a poignant Gaelic song Puirt sung by the enchanting vocals of Julie Fowlis, while backed perfectly by the dynamic band. 

 


Aileen Reid


Karine Polwart, a festival stalwart and activist for inclusivity, had us all singing along to her emotive song, Come Away In. and them moved by a stirring song Lost Words Blessing.

 

This wonderfully escapist concert was brought to a fitting climax with the Kinnaris tunes Wonderful and Saltsprings. Kinnaris play with verve, with both a lightness of touch and also high energy. They mix many influences to great challenging effects, from traditional Scottish, Irish, Bluegrass, Classical, Scandinavian and Appalachian music; with which they create technically exciting arrangements, while their performances are filled with a contagious positive verve. 

 

An upbeat evening to remember! 




Karine Polwart

Laura-Beth Slater



II  Kinnaris were very well supported by the dynamic, high energy playing of Ciaran Ryan, Scottish tenor banjo player, one of the UKs top players and a founding member of folk band Dallahan, His second solo album, Occupational Hazards, was released 2024. 

 The evening concert was opened by Norwegian band Gangar, with their fresh take on Nordic roots music and a modern rock take on traditional tunes.




Sunday 14 January 2024

Celtic Connections 2024!

 

 

Folk music. What is folk music?

This festival is definitively NOT about only about folk music. Some might argue it should be more narrowly about Trad – while others want to hear experimental cross overs and colorations. 

Celtic Connections is definitely full of unexpected collaboration. One of its strengths is it diversity – crossing boundaries while drawing on Celtic heritage and traditions, 

 

There is always a wide variety of MUSIC at Celtic Connections – with its breadth of genres and cultures. The festival is known as Europe’s premier folk, roots and world music festival, and the home of  spectacular musical collaborations. Celtic Connections has continued to expand into a multitude of genres over its 30-year history. In 2024 the festival will stage an ambitious  genre-defying programme of acoustic, traditional, indie, Americana, Jazz, blues, orchestral, experimental and more. 

 

Americana – Bruce Hornsby, Bela Fleck, Molly Fleck. 

Pipes – Finlay MacDonald, Skerryvore (folk rock), Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton. 

Gaelic – Julie Fowlis, Joy Dunlop, Breabach, Daimh

New composition, orchestral

Fusion, and rock bands, 

Trad music, jazz and blues

Ceilidh and dance, 

 

Some highlights - 

Concert for revolutionary John MacLean - Red Clydeside . 

Irish group, the Bothy Band -

Dougie MacLean anniversary concert. 

 

The festival includes a Showcase, education, open mic, late night sessions, new talent, multi-cultural. Plus the Scottish National Whisky festival


Celtic Connections of one of the world’s largest winter music and folk festivals, I always remember being in the Press office with a London reporter. I said you must have folk festivals like this in London – he replied, ’Oh nothing at all on this scale!”

“Celtic Connections stands as a testament to Glasgow’s status as the UK’s top cultural and creative city, honoured by the European commission. The festival embodies a global tapestry of music, welcoming diverse traditions from across the world. “

 

I’ve been covering Celtic Connections concerts from 2008-2024 (over 16 years) with both reviews and photos. I have so many highlights to recall – impressive opening concerts, old Fruitmarket buzz, the ABC venue (sadly no longer there due to the art school fire), the late sessions, Danny Kyle stage – and so much more.

TICKETS   at www.celticconnections.comCeltic Connections 2024

 





Thursday 31 August 2023

Edinburgh Festivals 2023!





 

Warm and muggy today. There’s a long queue at the Jazz Bar, for a Joni Mitchell tribute. I’m at Biblos restaurant at the corner of Chambers st – another year, I’m not sure I am any wiser though. Biblos has its own music playlist and is off the main beaten tourist track. 

 

Climate emergency. A letter suggests it should be the scientists who need to be in charge and not hedge fund managemers. Can we keep our planet safe, for our children and grandchildren? Can we have hope? We are running out of time now…. The most urgent issue of our times. And some, even with all the wild fires and floods, still don’t take it seriously. 

 

Where Do We Go From here?

 

It’s good to be back on the high street to savour the excited buzz, the expectant crowds…. There are the handsome young men in kilts, bemused Koreans, retired Edinburgh residents, excited tourists and young families, lively students and the outlandish performers. 

 

First day I enjoyed a walk around the Scottish Portrait galleries - in the central atrium Robert Burns statue enjoys pride of place. There’s also a bust of Elsie Inglis. Here there are contemporary portraits, as well as the historical portraits on the top floor (Jacobites, Stuarts, Hanoverians) all tell of the varied and rich histories of Scotland. Later I recharged my phone at the central Library & enjoyed the High st.



Edinburgh festivals suffered during Covid and ticket sales have inevitably fallen. But this year things are more back to normal. 

Public funding for the festivals is 11m.

For the cycling world championships, 36m. 

 

There are small gems to be found – classical music concerts at St Andrews church George st or at the Scottish Portrait galleries. Alongside the renowned cultural events sits the gaudy, tacky side – overdone, raucously wild. And the unexpected comedy. 







At Edinburgh International book festival, #edbookfest23

now at the Edinburgh Art College location for its third year there. Since the lockdown years things are now more back to normal. I went to talks with the poet Don Paterson, autobiography Toy Fights; novelist Denise Mina, book Three Fires on Florence culture wars and the bonfire of the vanities;  

 

And a lively political talk on Scotland’s future - Moving Forward:  with Kezia Dugdale  Lesley Riddoch and Ruth Wishart. If we agree on the destination, how can we then agree on the road to reach it?  We must find a middle ground – otherwise we in Scotland are stuck. Riddoch’s new book Thrive – asks what is the road, now its ONLY about the road (currency, borders etc) and not the destination or our common bonds; while Wishart provided excellent sound bites and humour on these critical issues. 

EIBF is a good place to recharge batteries, consider reflections. 

 

“I can’t think of anywhere in the world that is more full of belief and joy than Edinburgh at this time.”  Andrew O’Hagan

 

Jokha Alharthi1

Kamila Shamsie



Alexander Moffat & Alan Riach 


Main Venues – Pleasance, Assembly Rooms, Gilded Balloon, Traverse, 

 

The fringe festival programme held more than 3,000 shows, in 288 venues hosting a diverse selection of work from Scotland, the UK and worldwide. Artists, arts industry representatives, media and audiences from 170 countries and with 2,445,609 tickets issued. The themes and issues tackled by artists in the 2023 programme included mental health and wellbeing, disability, queer lives, working-class representation and the climate crisis. Affordability was a big issue, with sky-high hotel prices,