Showing posts with label old fruitmarket. Show all posts
Showing posts with label old fruitmarket. Show all posts

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Dick Gaughan Tribute Concert at Celtic Connections 2018

Mary Macmaster, Patsy Seddon
Songs of Defiance and social conscience and an evening of contrast, quality, and sincerity

Gaughan has become something of a legend on the Scottish and world folk circuits for more than 40 years. He is an interpreter of Scotland’s traditional folk songs with his distinctive style of guitar playing, with open chords and timing that he learnt from guitarist Davey Graham. Fans beside me had heard Gaughan over in California.

The concert was a tribute to Gaughan’s authenticity. He cares about the truth of things and of digging below the surface for stories behind the songs. We live in shallow times, where false greed and facades matter more than being open hearted or honest. Gaughan is not only angry – he was furious at injustice and he spoke and sang of this with unequalled passions. In-between songs, while tuning his guitar Gaughan, would tell his stories.

Tonight’s performers sang political and social songs of the poor state of things – that tell of Grenfell tower monument to greed and selfishness, Aberfan disaster, miners strikes, Jute mill songs, Niel Gow’s fiddle. Where are the young voices of protest today?
Wilson Family
Tony McMannus
**The concert was a celebration of the music and politics that matters to Gaughan. Host Elaine C Smith sang Michael Marra’s Mother Glasgow, and introduced an incomparable line-up of Gaughan’s long time friends and collaborators. 

The Wilson Family sang Baker Hil - “close the mineshaft door” - and other songs, with powerful male harmonies. The accomplished guitarists Tony McManus and Martin Simpson paid tribute and Simpson performed Bob Dylan’s Blind Willie McTell and other songs. Karine Polwart sang Craigie Hill’ and told the moving story of being given Dick’s album a Handful of Earth the night before her grandfather’s funeral - a song about immigration and leaving. The Bevvy Sisters sang Marra’s Like Another Rolling StoneMary Macmaster, Patsy Seddon sang Gaelic songs (Clan Alba) .

Dougie MacLean closed this very special evening with a moving climax with his song This love Will Carry. Gaughan, who has has been ill the past year appeared on stage to a standing ovation. I was glad he had been persuaded him to appear for his devoted fans and that he didn’t remain a ‘presence’ behind the curtain. Dick said he hoped to be back to sing next year for us and we hoped too!

I first heard Gaughan back in the 80s at an Edinburgh folk club and I have met him at Milngavie folk club and he is always friendly and unassuming. He would open his set with the Si Kahn song, What you Do With What You’ve gotI’ve heard many folk singers live and Gaughan is by miles the most moving and powerful. Like Dylan, he doesn’t smooth over the Big Issues of our time,
I took my guitarist son a few years back to hear him and he was hugely impressed. I will always remember sitting enthralled to this Westlin Winds, his impassioned and defining interpretation of the Robert Burns song, when he would say, “One of the best songs ever written, it says all there is to say. Certainly an Outlaw and Dreamer like no other!


Did anyone record a full set I wondered with his chat between songs? Folk singers know the depth of things – as Dylan wrote – Folk songs were my guide to a new republic.’
Maybe he is, but Gaughan should write his thoughts for a book. Like Burns and Dylan before him Dick trawled the archives in the national library for the rich tapestry of the old ballads and brought many back to life. His personal heritage mixes Celtic traditions of both Ireland and the Scottish Islands.

(Clan Alba, A folk supergroup, featured Dick Gaughan. Mary Macmaster, Brian MacNeill, Fred Morrison, Patsy Seddon, Davy Steele, Mike Travis and Dave Tulloch. With guitars, harps, pipes, fiddles and percussion, and distinctive collective harmonies. Their 1996 debut album - included ‘Bye Bye Big Blue’, a lament for the closure of the Ravenscraig Steel Works, and Gaughan’s evocative ‘Childhood’s End’.)

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Rab Noakes at the Old Fruitmarket Celtic Connections

Rab looked smart in a black and grey stripped suit and with his good looking band, began his show with ‘Let The Show Begin’! This was an evening of song and stories.

Rab introduced his band - Innes Watson (fiddle), Una MacGlone  (double bass), Stuart Brown (drums), Una McImrpov, Christine Hanson (cello), Lisbee Roo IBanjo), and Jill Jackson (vocals), I was impressed as he had four woman musicians in his band along with two men! And they did an accomplished job too.

He sang his landmark songs – ‘Together Forever’ (which was covered by the band Lindisfarme back in 1969), ‘Edens Flow’, and ‘Clear Day’ (a call and response song). These song may not have made pop charts but they were hits with young folk singers. Rab performed on the BBCs Old Grey Whistle Test and record in Nashville.

He performed his quality song ‘Gently Does It’, when he expertly played the melody on guitar and spoke of being inspired by the acclaimed folk singer Alex Campbell and of what a great performer he was the way he built up his set.

He sang the ‘Twa Corbies’, along with the perfect-toned voice of Gaelic singer Kathleen Innes. And a new stand out song, which was 'a Scots song nod to Dylan and a Bob Dylan nod to Scots song' ‘Tramp and Immigrants’ – a mash up of Dylan’s ‘Pity the Poor Immigrant’ and Scots song ‘Tramps and Hawkers’.

***II  For a defiant start of his second set, Rab sang ‘That won’t stop me’ from his Treatment Tapes Cd. This 70/50 concert was a double celebration - Rab will be 70 this year and it was now 50 years of performing his songs.

He sang songs of travelling long gone folk and of things you taught me, with ‘Jackson Greyhound.’ He sang he maturity of experience, lessons learnt and hard fought for acceptance of being that bit older. He spoke of his travels in the deep American south – starting at New Orleans, and on up to Nashville, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana - with the civil rights on one hand/ music on the other. He said it was important to let the song tell the tale when he sang ‘A Voice Over my Shoulder’.

Rab took part in the project ‘Scotland Sings - Hands up for Trad’ when he had re-engaged with the Scots song tradition through working with Kathleen. He wrote his song about the treatment of asylum seekers being lined up for farm work with ‘The Handwash Feein Mairket.’

He thanked his wife Steph for her help during his cancer treatment and sang of love, with ‘Just One Look’ and ‘I Always Will’. He also spoke of writing songs with her – and sang ‘O Me O My (O Fly Away)’

Rab always enjoys looking back and treated us to special songs of the past and along with Kathleen he sang an emotional full stop song for his encore with the 1947 song ‘Tennessee Waltz’, which had the Fruitmarket audience on its feet and it was clear his emotion.

Noakes sings with an American twang he picked up listening to radio back in the days. At the time there were American ships in Glasgow and America was the dream place with music fans here in the thrall of the American blues and rock. Times they are a changing recently…

Noakes is unassuming, genuine, and a keen observer of life. It was clear he had put a great deal of consideration into the song choices for his concert. A memorable night.

Let the Show Begin, By the Day (One More Shave n’ Haircut), Together Forever, Gently Does it, The Twa Corbies, Tramps and Immigrants, Water is my friend, I’m Walkin Here, Clear day,
II  That won’t Stop me, Where Dead Voices Gather, A Voice over my Shoulder, Jackson Greyhound, Eden’s Flow, Handwash feein’ mairket, Just One Look, I Always Will, On me oh my (Fly way oh fly away), Out of Your Sight, Tennessee Waltz. 

Saturday 4 February 2017

King Creosote Celtic Connections 2017

One of Scotlands highly respected songwriters, King Creosoteaka Kenny Anderson, from Fife and his nine piece band brightened up the Old Fruitmarket stage on Friday. The top quality band, who were made up with sparkly space age gear, included harp, cello, bass, keys, drums, violin, pipes and guitars - with Lomond Campbell (Ziggy) on vocals, Peter Harvey (cello) and Andy Robertson (drums).   

This was to set the mood for the lush cinematic travelling soundscapes of Anderson’s 2016 album, ‘Astronaut Meets Appleman.’  The album explores the challenges between traditional and the new technologies

The gig included the catchy tunes ‘Love Life’ and other memorable songs, from his recent album -  ‘Surface’, ‘Wake Up to This’ and the momentum of ‘You Just Want.’ Kenny mixes colourful subtle soundscapes with his indie folk rock music. At one point Anderson wandered the stage and interacted with all the members of his band and it appeared they were having much fun! They performed hypnotic immersive music and the packed Fruitmarket audience knew they were in for a good night! 

Charlie Cunningham
English singer songwriter, Charlie Cunningham, was the support and played some dynamic guitar and songs. 

In 2014, King Creosote composed songs for a award winning theatre show with archived black and white footage of Scotland, entitle ‘Scotland With Love’. He is also a Mercury prize nominated artist for his collaborative ‘Diamond Mine ‘album recorded with Jon Hopkins.    
He is is a one-man cottage industry based in the Fife fishing town of Anstruther, Kenny “King Creosote” Anderson has released more than 40 albums since the late Nineties, 

Friday 5 February 2016

RURA rocked Old Fruitmarket Celtic Connections 2016

A rip roaring set by this fun young band with quality support

This evening concert at the Old Fruitmarket was a triple bill mix of American bluegrass and Scottish music traditions. This venue with it's balconies and rustic old world charm creates its own uniquely inviting atmosphere.

One of the most exciting new folk bands on the scene, Rura were the Danny Kyle stage winners a few years back when I was impressed with their set at the #ccfest festival club. (Photos are in my Celtic Connections galleries)

The packed crowd in the hall were really up for it all. The band had carefully arranged their light show, prepared their instruments and their folk indie rock and were ready for a night of engaging dynamic energy with their charged fiddle, guitar, bodhran, pipes and flute. Rura exploded their challenged music with their power reels, beats and rhythms.

The singer Adam Homes with his husky tones joined them for several songs. Album 2015 Despite the Dark. They are - Steven Blake (bagpipes, flute), Jack Smedley (fiddle), David Foley (Bodhran, flute), Adam Brown (guitar), Adam Homes (vocals, guitar).

The Canadian roots band The East Pointers began the night with their lively and earthy American roots music.
The gentle singer Aoife O’Donovan was up next and she provided pure quality vocals and songs. She releases her second solo album The Magic Hour in 2016.  She was previously with the band Crooked Still.
With my photos I try to capture those moments of the escape and joy of the music.
Top marks for this Old Fruitmarket gig!

Monday 26 January 2015

Braebach at the Old Fruitmarket Celtic Connections 2015

Quality Celtic concert!
 To begin the night New Zealander Horomana Horo arrived in impressive full Maori gear and with his band Waoira started the show with an entertaining set of Moari traditional songs. Horo is a Maori musician with a powerful presence and expressive voice. Waiora's music blends the tradition and modern along with classical guitarist Joshua Rogers.

He played traditional instruments that were subdued and floating for such a big man!  He told of his songs being about the conversation between the elements. He also treated us to a Haki Moari dance. One song expressed admiration for female virtues, another for manly strengths.

Horo is a leading player of his culture's traditional taonga puro instruments. He spoke of the revitalization of Moari music, language and culture. Highly enjoyable set.
 After which we were treated to the Alan Kelly Band. Kelly is an innovative Irish piano accordionist and he brought an array of top rated folk musicians with him that included  - Alasdair White (Battlefield band) who was impressive and expressive on fiddle, Manus Lunny on double bass (Capercaillie), guitarist Tony Byrne and flutist and vocalist Steph Geremia. Their music combines Irish, Scottish, Breton and Asturian.  
They were joined for one song with Scottish songstress Eddi Reader - who sat near me enjoying their set! Their recent album The Last Bell is well worth checking out.

Tonight's headliners were Scottish band Braebach who have won several awards and the band mix traditions with their highly individual inventiveness. All multi talented musicians they consist of Calum MacCrimmon (Pipes and Whistles), Megan Henderson ((Fiddle), Ewan Robertson (Guitar,Cajon) and James Duncan Mackenzie (Pipes and Bazouki) and James Lindsay (Double Bass).

Breabach played fine tunes, ranging from jigs and reels, Gaelic songs and Scottish dancing along with uniquely inspired twin pipes. Keeping to their traditional roots the band also brings an inventiveness to their music. This old worldly venue is one of my Glasgow favourites and provides a perfect back drop for

Bagpipes meet taonga puoro when Horo joined the band on stage for their collaborative music together at the successful and ground-breaking 2014 Womad Boomerang Project,  to explore the links between Celtic, Aboriginal and Maori cultures, through language, contemporary music, and dance.

The concert marked the tenth anniversary since the band won Celtic Connections Danny Kyle stage. The busy Fruitmarket were truly given a high quality concert tonight and showed their enthusiastic appreciation! 

Songline named the band's album, Urlar, as one of the top ten Scottish albums of 2014.