A dreich Glasgow Monday afternoon in January isn’t the best time to tempt an audience out of doors. The Danny Kyle Open Stage at the 30th Anniversary Celtic Connections managed it fine.  In defiance of the grey, a long queue filled the hall and, first up, The Pilgrims Society, made it all worthwhile.  The six-piece band immediately brightened the room with their unique and infectious brand of Glasgow funk and dance rhythms. Influenced by 60s and 70s Funk, Soul and Afro Beat, their music has an infectious Latin-Caribbean groove.

The string line-up of electric guitars and bass with the unusual addition of an electric mandolin blended easily with the catchy grooves laid down by a tight congas and cahone rhythm section.  Some impressive guitar, mandolin and percussion solos and vocal harmonies showed the crowd what this talented bunch were made of. An appreciative audience bounced in their seats (sadly no dancing) and tapped their feet along to a selection of self-penned numbers.  For those brief twenty minutes, The Pilgrims Society transformed the windowless Exhibition area of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall into a sunny summer’s afternoon in the park.  We deserve to hear more from them.

Listen again to the Danny Kyle Session on Celtic Music Radio https://dkos.co.uk/dkos-mon-23rd-jan-2023/

Pilgrims Society line-up: Al McIntyre – bassist; Eric Mauricia – singer/percussion; Joe Djaelani – singer/guitar; Louis Macdonald – mandolin/fiddle/harmonica; Miroslav Cuba – drums; Philip Ologe – singer/rhythm guitar.


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