STORM FORCE Celtic Connections – Coasts and Waters 2020

STORM, a 10 meter high sea goddess arose from the River Clyde last Saturday morning 18 January 2020 in the calmer wake of her big brother Brendan who had battered these shore a few days previously.  Made entirely of recycled and natural materials, STORM is said to be the largest puppet in the UK. With …

Bothy Culture & Beyond – pure Cirque d’Ecosse @ccfest #ccfest18

Martyn Bennett’s second studio album Bothy Culture was given the full orchestral treatment on Saturday 27 January in Glasgow’s Hydro arena – mid-point highlight of this year’s sell-out Celtic Connections 25th  Anniversary Festival.  Building on the success of Greg Lawson’s arrangement of his friend Bennett’s album Grit – Nae Regrets – premiered at Celtic Connections …

A century apart – the art of Margaret Barry and Karine Polwart

Celtic Connections columnist Anni Donaldson reviews one show looking at the life and music of Margaret Barry This article first appeared in Common Space https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10265/anni-donaldson-century-apart-art-margaret-barry-and-karine-polwart THE gulf separating the lived experience of singers Margaret Barry and Karine Polwart could hardly be wider.  Margaret, born into a family of street musicians in Cork in 1917, and Karine, …

James Kelman on the Dirt Road to Lafayette

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10254/anni-donaldson-james-kelman-dirt-road-lafayette Our Celtic Connections columnist Anni Donaldson goes on a musical journey with Dirt Road author James Kelman JAMES KELMAN in conversation with Alan Bisset at a packed ‘meet the author’ session at this year’s Celtic Connections festival was full of surprises.  The ‘connection’ celtic-wise between Kelman’s latest novel, Dirt Road, and Glasgow’s annual music …

Is it time Scotland paid a new piper?

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10202/anni-donaldson-it-time-scotland-paid-new-piper Our Celtic Connections columnist, Anni Donaldson, explores the politics of gender in Scottish traditional music WITH the chants of a women’s anti-Trump demonstration booming outside Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, it was an auspicious moment to start a new conversation about gender and Scottish traditional music.  Judging by the audience’s response to the lively discussion …

Gartocharn couple fly high @GlasgowArtClub @ccfest

t This review first appeared in The Lennox Herald 29 January 2016 Linsey Aitken and Ken Campbell pull off a musical world tour at their first Celtic Connections gig. Like the wild geese taking off above Linsey Aitken and Ken Campbell’s home in Gartocharn on Loch Lomondside, a full house at the Glasgow Art Club …

10 women storming the stage @ccfest @SSeparation

THE sight of 10 women – some of the UK’s most creative and uniquely versatile traditional musicians – walking on stage at the Mitchell Theatre on Sunday 24 January for Songs of Separation as part of Celtic Connections had quite an impact.

@ccfest: Celtic Connections thunders in on The Carrying Stream

This review first appeared in Common Space 15 January 2016 “GIVE us a song!” Growing up in Glasgow in a large extended family of first and second generation Irish immigrants – all good singers – this was an order, not a request. I grew to realise the importance of song to those not long removed from …