Showing posts with label indie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indie. Show all posts

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Celtic Connections 2024 ANNOUNCED!

Tim O'Brien
Eddi Reader

CELTIC CONNECTIONS festival 2024  set for expansive programme of unmissable music!   Images copyright Pauline Keightley

World-renowned Glasgow festival Celtic Connections returns January 2024 with a full program and many international visitors – to brighten our winter nights!

Thursday 18 January to Sunday 4 February 2024


With one of its biggest-ever capacity festivals Celtic Connections 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. Glasgow, UNESCO City of Music will host over 300 events across 25 venues  over 18 days.  Venues include Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Barrowland, Pavilion Theatre, Barony Hall, Old fruitmarket.  


From high-energy rhythms fusing contemporary sounds with traditional music, to intimate and soulful acoustic performances. Along with the anticipated 110,000 attendees, musicians will descend on Glasgow from Scotland, North America, West Africa, India, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, Sweden, France and Ireland, more!

General tickets on sale at 10am, Wednesday 11th October at www.celticconnections.comCeltic Connections 2024

Celtic Connections 2024 will take place from Thursday 18th January to Sunday 4th February. General tickets go on sale 10am, Wednesday 11th October 2023, with advance tickets on sale now for Celtic Rovers festival supporters. The programme can be viewed in full and tickets purchased at

Images copyright Pauline Keightley
Highlights include:- 

     Celtic Connections Opening Concert, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall stages the European premiere ATTENTION! New symphonic work from American Grammy winner Chris Thile - “the best mandolin player in the world” - with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

     100 years on since the death of Scottish iconic revolutionary socialist John MacLean, a centenary concert  to recognise the significance of the Red Clydeside era – with music, poetry on his legacy, will be led by Karine PolwartEddi ReaderBilly Bragg and Siobhan Miller

       Scotland burgeoning traditional music scene is celebrated with Dallahan, RANT, Breabach, Mec Lir, Heisk, Session A9 and The Canny Band alongside emerging artists like Beth Malcolm, TRIP, Lauren Collier, Tarran and Amy Laurenson

     Another special international collaboration Citadels of the Sun, in tandem with Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival, Irish and Rajasthani musicians come together Barony Hall to share common themes that connect the two cultures. The show will feature Martin Coyle, Paul Cutliffe, Sarah E Cullen, Asin Khan Langa and Sawai Khan Manganiyar

     A wealth of transatlantic talent at the 2024 festival includes country royalty with Carlene Carter (daughter of June Carter Cash), 15-time Grammy Award winner and banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, beloved singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby, and festival favourites Sarah Jarosz, Teddy Thompson, The Milk Carton Kids, Tommy Emmanuel, Darlingside and bluegrass star Tim O’Brien,who with his seminal album The Crossing.

     50th anniversary of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra , with unique arrangements and guest performances from Scotland’s Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), American singer Aoife O’Donovan, visionary folk band Lau and harpist Maeve Gilchrist

      Beloved Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean will mark five decades of extraordinary music making with a special show entitled Songmaker 2024 - Celebrating 50 Years of Music

     Roddy Hart’s Roaming Roots Revue 12th year, Songs of Modern Scotland. modern classics along with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra, and Scottish talent Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble and Rod Jones, Del Amitri’s Justin Currie, Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne CampbellKing Creosote, and more

     Contemporary Scottish Celtic outfits with RURA and Talisk iconic Barrowlands; Skerryvore expansive sound, UK top 40 album TempusSkipinnish celebrate 25 years, renowned folk groups Blazin’ Fiddles celebrate 25th years, Kinnaris Quintet headline show Old Fruitmarket with Julie Fowlis and Karine Polwart, and Skye’s Valtos celebrate Gaelic song SWG3

      Showcase Scotland - a part of the festival which facilitates international collaboration - will this year partner with the country of Norway to showcase Scandinavian talent, while other festival favourites including Transatlantic Sessions will return

Festival-goers can also look forward to the usual mix of screenings, workshops, dementia-friendly concerts, late night sessions and pop-up performances at the Festival Club, as well as a thriving education programme that will benefit thousands of children across Glasgow.

Donald Shaw, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Tim O'Brien, John Doyle- Late Sessions
Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “It’s that time of year where we lift the lid on the incredible shows and events we have in the works for Celtic Connections. Celebration and collaboration are at the heart of the festival and once again we will bring the world’s music to Glasgow audiences this winter. I’m very excited that our 2024 edition will welcome a huge portion of international talent back to our stages, particularly our transatlantic cousins in America, and that we will be back to staging one of our biggest ever capacity festivals. We would encourage audiences old and new with a love of music to discover all that this diverse programme has to offer and spend the dark winter nights with us.”

Creative Scotland Head of MusicAlan Morrison said: “The 2024 Celtic Connections programme puts Scotland at the heart of a musical map of the world. This is arguably the festival’s strongest-ever international line-up, opening our ears to the inspirational sounds of artists from so many different countries and cultures. Running through it all, of course, is Scotland’s own musical lifeblood, the traditional tunes and contemporary twists that continue to thrill audiences and brighten up our winter days and nights.”

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “I’m greatly looking forward to this year’s Celtic Connections and the warmth it always brings to the colder months with leading Scottish and international musicians across a variety of genres set to descend on Glasgow for what looks to be another fantastic showcase of talent. 


Saturday 14 March 2015

Idlewild O2 ABC

I enjoyed a band on top form with the return of the celtic and soul-filled Edinburgh indie rockers Idlewild, who played two sold-out return shows for their fans at the O2 ABC Glasgow. 

The room was full of palpable nostalgia and love from the fans ready to rock!  Their dramatic melodic rock offers hopes - as Woomble put it 'For all you lovely people come to see us.' 

The strength of memories lost forgotten hopes and dreams –
The crowd waited eagerly for those songs replayed and also for the new material and sound of this refreshed re-energized band with their new members - bassist Andrew Mitchell, keyboard player Luciano Rossi and Hannah Fisher on electric fiddle.

The set was a good mix of both the old and new, which kept fans more than happy. Their music was at times understated and subtle and then with full-on throttle and energy on other tracks, such as A Modern Way of Letting Go.

Lead singer Roddy, displayed assured warm confidence, while guitarist Jones played his guitar like an energy wand and their older songs were reworked and energized. There were strong five-part harmonies on 'Roseability' and 'Little Discourage' and their sing-able choruses were enjoyed by the audience on familiar songs such as 'Love Steals Us From Loneliness.' They played melodic catchy riffs on  'So Many Things to Decide' and 'American English'.

The new album songs from their Everything Ever Written album - ‘Come Along Ghost' and 'Collect Yourself' were well received. Their sound is a blend of rock and folk with the emphasis at times on the rock - with impressive high-wire guitars and soulful melody from Rossi's keys and Fisher's electric fiddle.  

It was good to see new member, guitarist and bass player Andrew, up front for several songs. I saw him perform solo at Edinburgh festival last year and was impressed with his music there. On the new track (Use it) If You Can Use It, he and Jones rocked the sound up a few notches with a full on bluesy guitar duel.

Their influences are broad from Americana, folk earnestness and 90s full on rock. During the band's hiatus Woomble has written for Ballads of the Book and worked with folk musicians - I have seen him solo with John McCusker and Kris Drever.     

They are part of the forerunners of today's melodic pop rock bands (notably Scottish bands such as Biffy Clyro)  while there was also edges of REM here - Night Swimming came to mind.

All in all a winning formula. Hope the tour goes great for you!

Idlewild are a Scottish indie rock band, from Edinburgh Scotland formed in 1995. They are now a seven piece band with guitar, keys and electric fiddle - previous members are Roddy Woomble (lead vocals), Rod Jones (guitar), Colin Newton (drums) and now with new members - Andrew Mitchell (bass), Hannah Fisher (electric fiddle) and Luciano Rossi (keys). They have released seven full-length studio albums, with recent album Everything Ever Written released in 2015.

I was pleased to be the only photographer at this fun gig but would also have enjoyed to be creative and have shot the whole set too. My gig photos here -

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 - 

Friday 25 May 2012

*Great Scottish Bands

For such a small country Scotland has had an amazing number of very creative artists and scientists. People in countries like Japan think a lot of our indie music.  Here are some great Scottish bands in no particular order. These bands are still out there touring the world.

Biffy Clyro -

Primal Scream  -

Belle and Sebastian   -

Simple Minds -

Travis -

Deacon Blue -

Del Amitri -

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band -

Runrig -

King Creosote -

Frightened Rabbit -

Franz Ferdinand -

Battlefield band -

Mogwai  -

Thursday 26 May 2011

Stag and Dagger Festival Glasgow 2011

--> This was the third Glasgow Stag and Dagger event and it was held at 7 venues across the city - O2 ABC1, O2 ABC2, The Art School, The Vic Bar, Stereo, Nice n Sleazy, Captains Rest.  The ticket price of £8 included a wrist band which gave access to all the gigs.  Stag and Dagger hold their main event in London, so it is good to know that they choose Glasgow as their second event.  I read recently that Glasgow is second only to London in the numbers attending Cultural events (this study induced theatre, galleries and concerts)  I headed first to the main venue the ABC and there I heard Clinic, Admiral Fallow, Rachel Sermanni, Withered Hand and headliners Warpaint from LA, the first girl band I've taken shots of.   I then made my way up to the Art School venue to see Broken Records, Sons and Daughters and Chad Valley
I had first heard Rachel Sermanni at the Celtic Connection Festival open mic in 2009 and I was impressed there with her subtle voice. Rachel was able to hold the packed venue with her guitar, songs and voice. She also performed one duet song with the lead singer from the band Admiral Fallow, Louis Abbott.
I've taken photos of Broken Records at several gigs in both Edinburgh and Glasgow over the past years. I always enjoy their set with their charged, melodic sound and brothers Jamie and Rory have good stage presence.  Admiral Fallow I had seen live before at King Tuts and in 2010 they picked up attention at the T Break Stage. They have good musicianship, melodies and vocal harmonies. Warpaint impressed the audience and they played an ethereal sound and the band describe themselves as experimental art rock. They were in soft-blue stage lighting which wasn't so easy to photograph! 
Later I met Jamie Sutherland of Broken Records at the Art School and wished I'd had prints for him - and what a charming guy he is too!  After which I saw part of Chad Valley's energised and fun electronic set in the Vic Bar.
--> One of the main reasons I do music photography is for the emerging artists I follow. I enjoy artists that have honesty and something new to say with their voice and songs. While I also enjoy many older artists. Fortunately for Scotland we have a healthy grassroots music scene , which is respected the world over. Glasgow also offers a good number of accessible small and mid-size venues.  

Saturday 23 April 2011

The Low Anthem Oran Mor 7th April 2011

I first saw the Low Anthem perform at the Old Fruitmarket during Celtic Connection Festival Glasgow 2010 - where they played their many instruments, performed their melodic songs, and sang their finely-tuned harmonies with a contemporary American country feel. Their sound ranged from subtle soft lows to a big crashing wall of sound, and lead singer Ben Miller took his voice from sweet to harsh. So tonight I expected another great concert and I was not disappointed.

The concert was held in the Oran Mor Church auditorium with it's coloured stain glass and high ceiling gallery. American band 'Head an Heart' were the support and they had fun as they performed their strong harmonies and quality songs. 

The Low Anthem set their stage for intimacy and arranged their instruments in a circle with an open area in the middle.  I noticed that they had set a vase with 2 daffodils and a glass of Rose wine on top of a small wooden organ which gave relaxed ambience to the stage.  The band began their set in a close circle around an old radio-style microphone, and with only their soothing voices and guitar they brought a hush to the crowded hall.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Head and Heart

'Head and Heart' supported the Low Anthem at the Oran Mor Glasgow 7th April. They had fun on stage and performed strong harmonies and quality songs. More Photos on my website - 

Monday 17 January 2011

'Broken Records' Celtic Connections 2011

Broken Records Review - Old Fruitmarket 16th Jan 2011

Broken Records are a six-piece indie folk band from Edinburgh Scotland. The band are signed to 4AD and released their debut album, Until the Earth Begins to Part in 2009.  Their second album Let Me Come Home was released in October 2010. They played a well-received set at T in the Park's T Break stage in 2007.  The band attended SxSW Festival in Austin, Texas in 2010 and their music was featured in the TV dramas "Skins" and "Lost". They have supported The National on part of their European 'High Violet' LP tour.  In May the band completed their second album, Let Me Come Home in October, 2010 with producer Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Delgados, Belle & Sebastian)
They played at the Old Fruitmarket 16th January 2011 as part of 'Celtic Connections 2011', and as support for the Burns Unit ( an 8-piece Canadian and Scottish folk/rock band formed over a song writing week in a cottage up north for Burnsong).
Broken Records displayed a tight accomplished unit and blasted through their set. Not many bands command the stage - and Jamie, along with his brother, often appear lost in their rocky yet Celtic-tinged sounds as Rory's violin adds at times an eerie haunting air. Their music moves from intimate piano ( the Promise) to charged violin and drums rhythms (new single A darkness Rises Up). Jamie finished their set with the song 'Nearly Home' with simply his vocal alongside synth keys. Their songs are mystic, exploring many wide-open and spacious emotional themes.
The band were originally formed by brothers Jamie (Lead Vocals) and Rory (fiddle, accordion) Sutherland.  I have heard this band before - and noticed then their musicianship alongside memorable songs and energetic playing, and that Jamie used his vocals as a finely tuned instrument.  They have now shed the cello and worked on arrangements and their second album sounds so much more together and balanced.  I heard this band at several venues and the best was in the reverential setting of the Queens Hall Edinburgh - where they blasted through a set of strong songs in the packed converted church that left me enthralled and exhilarated. 
Aching and troubling yet uplifting sounds.  They tour America and Europe in 2011.  
Set List 
1. Leaving Song
2. Modern Worksong
3. Motorcyclce Boy
4. Wolves
5. A Darkness Rises Up
6. A Promise
7. You Know
8. Nearly Home

Tuesday 4 January 2011

MUSIC 2010

Music 2010 has taken some exciting new turns - subtle electronic to retro yet contemporary folk. The genres are blurring more and more and I see this as a positive.

The biggest band of 2010 was Arcade Fire who earned their place at the top end of stadium rock, and their sound reminds me of 70s rock tunes. Their gig Glasgow Barrowlands was one of the top live gigs of all time. 2010 was a year of many great gigs and albums - both large and small scale. Here are some of my thoughts on my own personal views on the biggest sounds of 2010. It is all hard to define now with the complexity of the media - is it about the ticket sales, the album sales, the downloads or the youtube hits...

My favourite new albums anyway, which I hope also represents a slice of the variety of sounds out there. *The biggest Albums - 'Suburbia' by Arcade Fire (indie rock); 'High Violet' The National (indie rock); 'Total Life Forever' the Foals ; ' The XX' won the Mercury with their album 'Crystallized' (Romy has an unforgettable vocal and look - new wave rock); 'I Speak Because I Can' Laura Marling (folk alternative); 'Hill of Thieves' Cara Dillon (folk, released 2009).

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Broken Records - Oran Mor 2009

The band are being spoken of as the next big thing. They played packed and popular gigs in Inverness where they picked up a following, and also supported Sons and Daughters there.
Drawing on influences as diverse as folk legends the Waterboys to Canadian rockers Arcade Fire – this young 7 piece rock band from Edinburgh command the stage. In one sense their music might be called Celtic rock? - with the feel and mood of Scotland matched with an energetic rockiness. From charismatic blond front man Jamie Sutherland, and his brother on fiddle who displays a rich and dynamic style – the band have then added extra oomph with trumpet, and depth with cello. Also they boast powerhouse strong drums - good drummers can be often overlooked – yet they are the centre core of any top band. The band includes fiddle, guitar, bass, keys, drums, trumpet, and cello.
Sutherland also plays keys and guitar and takes the tempo down for a few songs. My thought is - watch out for this band and expect the music to match the hype here.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Patrick Watson King Tuts Glasgow

Patrick Watson @ King Tuts 19th Sept 2007
Bright Shiny Lights
Indie 4 piece from Montreal played King Tuts - were relaxed and having fun.
Richard Mailey, a fresh-faced young Irish man opened the gig, he has the power in his voice of a young Bruce Springsteen.

The Patrick Watson band offer lots of flowing space and fun theatrical percussion with their music. Patrick, songwriter and piano player and lead vocals puts everything in without doing too much, with the rest of the band bouncing off him. They used anything at hand – a balloon, a jacket over the guitar, effects pedals, more...
To start the set the drummer shook a soft percussion instrument in the space in front of his drum kit. This was not only about the songs or Patrick’s expressive voice, but about the energy of all four.

For the last number Patrick and guitarist took up position in the centre of the audience, and with the guitarist revolving on a small stool they conducted the audience with a ‘Man under the Sea’. For the encore Patrick sang with only piano the quite wonderful ‘the Great Escape'. Fun and engrossing. 

I enjoyed the way this band mixed things up with light fun rhythms, echoing each other…. No rules, no genre - with playful percussion, varied soundscapes and expressive vocals.
Coming out of Montreal’s fervent music scene, the band has a new album out ‘Close to Paradise’ and you sense they come out of a rich heritage of blues, jazz and more and shake it up to make it their own.(Also out of Montreal - Wolf Parade and Arcade Fire. Montreal has a renowned Jazz and Blue festival in July. )